USC Women Wrap Up UC Santa Barbara 50-39|
Jan. 31, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team secured a much-needed win tonight with a 50-39 nonconference victory over visiting UC Santa Barbara, snapping a three-game slump to give USC a boost. Cassie Harberts delivered a game-high 17 points and Alexyz Vaioletama hauled in a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Trojan charge to victory. USC improves to 11-9 overall with the win on the way into two Pac-12 games later this week. UC Santa Barbara moves to 8-12 with tonight's loss.
USC made a 15-1 run on the Gauchos to open the second half to create distance from UC Santa Barbara, as the Trojan defense clamped down, holding UC Santa Barbara to 25 percent shooting and holding the edge on the boards 43-41 down the stretch. USC shot 31 percent in the game, led by Harberts as the only Trojan in double figures in the scoring column. UC Santa Barbara was led by Emilie Johnson's 13 points and 11 from Nicole Nesbit.
The USC defense put the Gauchos up against the shot clock on many occasions as the Trojans generated a 12-1 run during the first half of action, keeping UCSB scoreless from the floor for over six minutes for a 17-8 lead with 6:10 on the clock. By the halftime buzzer, USC's Cassie Harberts was the lone player in double figures with 10 points as the Trojans held a 21-15 lead at the break.
Harberts dumped in back-to-back buckets for USC to open the second half, and the Trojan defense forced two shot clock violations by the Gauchos to help render them scoreless for the first seven and a half minutes until a lone free-throw fell for UCSB. USC was up to a 32-14 lead by that point, and Harberts answered with a pair of frees of her own with 12:10 on the clock to a 34-15 USC advantage. UCSB's first bucket from the floor came with 8:40, but by then the Women of Troy were up 18 for a good cushion to take down the stretch. The Gauchos would cut the margin to nine with under a minute remaining as UCSB buckets began to fall, but USC would not surrender its advantage and held on for a 50-39 final.
USC now returns to Pac-12 play, hosting Washington State at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 2) and then facing Washington at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 5) in a televised game by FSN at the Galen Center.