USC Women Complete Road Sweep With 46-43 Win At Utah|
Jan. 11, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The USC women's basketball team endured a cool day in Utah and managed to pull off the road win despite a season-low scoring effort in Salt Lake City. The Women of Troy didn't get a bucket from the floor to fall in the final seven minutes of play, but were still able to fend off host Utah to cling to a 46-43 victory by the final buzzer. With the road sweep this week, USC improves to 11-5 overall and to 3-2 in Pac-12 play. Utah goes to 6-9, 0-4 with the loss to the Trojans.
The game was locked up 11-11 after 10 minutes of play, but the Trojans finally got a run going in the last stretch of the first half. USC ended the half on a 6-0 scoring surge to hold a 26-17 advantage at the break, shooting 37 percent from the floor in the first half of action. Utah was at 32 percent at that point, and neither team had nailed a 3-pointer by halftime. The Trojans would wind up without a single 3-pointer in the game, having taken only three overall, but got just enough from the free-throw line to edge out the Utes.
USC finished the game shooting a season-low 30.4 percent and with a season-low 46 points, but was helped by a 12-of-16 effort from the free-throw line. USC freshman Kristen Simon iced two huge free throws with 10 seconds to go to craft that crucial three-point advantage. Utah, meanwhile, missed seven free throws in the second half and finished up 9-of-19 from the line. The Utes were 36 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Trojans 38-35 overall. USC's only player in double figures was Brianna Barrett with 13 points -- marking the only game this season with just one player in double digits. Simon led the Trojans with nine rebounds. Utah received 14 points apiece from Taryn Wicijowski and Paige Crozon, while Joeseta Fatuesi hauled in 10 rebounds for the Utes.
After the Utes reeled in USC's early 4-0 lead, the game stayed largely neck-and-neck through the first 10 minutes. A three-point play converted by Kaneisha Horn and a steal and finish from Brianna Barrett gave the Trojans some padding out to a 16-11 advantage soon after. The scoring pace stayed slow, but the Women of Troy would nudge their way out to a 20-14 lead on a bucket from Kristen Simon with 3:50 left in the half. Some nifty work down low from Jordan Adams got her the bucket and prompted argument from the Utah sideline. Barrett would bury both tosses on her trip to the line following the technical foul, and USC was up 24-17 entering the final minute of the half. One more runner from Barrett just a breath before the break would bump the Trojans out to a 26-17 halftime lead.
A quick pick-off by Adam fed Barrett for the fast break runner the other way to get USC ahead by double digits early with a 28-17 advantage just 15 seconds deep into the second half. Minutes later, Utah would land the first 3-pointer of the game and follow that with a score in the paint to cut it down to 31-24. USC would misfire on several more possessions in the next stretch as Utah cropped it to a two-point game, down 35-33 at 1:45 on another 3-pointer from Paige Crozon as USC's scoring drought extended to six full minutes. Simon finally snapped the scoreless stretch with a score down low at 9:30 to make it a 37-33 USC edge. Utah got to within two entering the last 6 minutes of action, and had worked its way into the bonus. Kaneisha Horn responded by getting herself to the line next, though, and put away both her tosses to make it 41-37 Trojans at 5:30. One from Alexyz Vaioletama had it back to a five-point USC lead by the 5-minute mark. It was still a five-point game with 2 minutes left to play, with USC holding a 44-39 advantage. Another missed offensive opportunity by USC had Utah set up at the other end soon after. The bucket fell for the Utes, and it was 44-41 Trojans with 1:23 on the clock. USC would miss again, but Utah was tagged with the charge next, and USC had the ball with 40 seconds left. Still the crucial basket would not fall for the Trojans, and Utah got to the line and converted both to make it a one-point game with 14.5 seconds left. Freshman Simon was sent to the stripe next, and she cooly hit both ends of her one-and-one to make it a 46-43 USC with 10 ticks to go. That would do it. Utah's last-second shot fell short, and the Trojans escaped with the 46-43 victory.
USC now returns to Los Angeles to set up for a Sunday (Jan. 18) rivalry rematch against UCLA at 7:30 p.m. in Westwood.
USC 46, UTAH 43
USC........................... 26 20 - 46
3-point goals--USC 0-3 (; Calvert, McKenzie 0-1; Vaioletama, Alexyz 0-1; Jaco, Courtney 0-1), Utah 2-9 (Crozon, Paige 2-4; Wicijowski, Taryn 0-1; Boclair, Tanaeya 0-1; Fatuesi, Joeseta 0-1; Arquette, Nakia 0-1; Wilson, Cheyenne 0-1).