Women of Troy Win A Wild One, Beat Bruins 47-43
Jan. 14, 2012
WESTWOOD, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team snapped a four-game skid against crosstown rival UCLA with a defensive stand today against the Bruins in a 47-43 Trojan victory. Behind 10 points and eight assists from Ashley Corral, the Women of Troy overmatched the Bruins to notch USC's fourth straight win of the year. The Trojans improve to 9-6 overall and are 4-1 in Pac-12 play. UCLA goes to 7-9, 2-3.
Ashley Corral passed up Cheryl Miller on the career assists list at USC by halftime of today's clash with UCLA. Five first-half assists from Corral helped set up the Trojans with a tight 26-25 lead at the break on a 42-percent shooting effort by the Trojans to that point. The Bruins, meanwhile, were hitting a 36 percent, and were up on the boards with a 20-19 rebounding edge. The second half saw scoring slumps on both ends, as USC finished shooting at 29 percent behind 30 from the Bruins. It was USC's dedication to the boards that really sealed the deal, with Cassie Harberts and Alexyz Vaioletama leading USC with 10 rebounds each to lift USC ahead 48-40 down the stretch. UCLA was led by 20 points from Rebekah Gardner and 14 rebounds from Markel Walker on the day.
Ashley Corral's fourth assist of the game not only locked her up with Cheryl Miller on USC's all-time career assists list, it also snapped an 8-0 Bruin run that pulled the game into a tie with 5 minutes to go until halftime. UCLA pushed into the lead thanks in part to a 9-2 rebounding lead during a five-minute span, and the Bruins were up 25-21 with two minutes to go. Stefanie Gilbreath would stop a three-minute Trojan scoring lag with a 3-pointer, and Christina Marinacci slipped in a bucket, too, to give USC back the lead in the final minute of the half. The Women of Troy would take a 26-25 advantage into the locker room.
In the second half, USC made an 8-0 run to pass up the Bruins and take a 38-34 lead as the Trojan defense rendered UCLA silent for over nine minutes. Points weren't exactly coming fast and furious for the Women of Troy, however, as USC would fall scoreless for almost six minutes before Corral found Stefanie Gilbreath for a three before delivering a runner to take USC up 43-38 with four minutes remaining. That bucket put Corral as the first Trojan to get to double figures, and more importantly gave USC a winning lift. UCLA would close to within two points with 2:13 to go, then cut it to one with 23 ticks remaining before Cassie Harberts got a couple trips to the line around another USC defensive stop, hitting three of her four to finish out a 47-43 Trojan win.
Corral not only passed Miller on the career list, she leap-frogged two spots into No. 5 all-time as she now holds 318 career assists.
USC now returns to Galen Center for two more Pac-12 games next week. The Trojans host Oregon at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 19) and then take on Oregon State at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 21).