USC Women Leave The Bruins Behind 68-54
Feb. 8, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team made it a season sweep of rival UCLA today as the Trojans punched up a 68-54 victory over the visiting Bruins at Galen Center. USC opened up the lead on an Ariya Crook 3-pointer and never trailed the rest of the way to tally the Trojans' second win of the season over UCLA. The rivalry victory snaps a three-game skid by USC, which improves to 15-9 overall and stays in third place in conference play at 8-4. UCLA goes to 11-13, 5-7 with the loss to the Women of Troy.
USC was clicking at a 40-percent scoring pace in the first half of play to outpace its rival UCLA, which shot 27 percent from the floor as the Trojans took a 33-20 lead by the break. Cassie Harberts was the only played in double digits at that point, holding 10 points and seven rebounds at halftime. The Trojans would generate an uptick in the second half, going 47 percent from the floor to wrap the game out of reach of the Bruins, hitting 43 percent in the game to UCLA's 34 percent. The Trojans led on the board with a 41-39 edge as they fended off a couple late pushes from UCLA to pocket the 68-54 victory.
Cassie Harberts pumped in 17 points and was just a rebound shy of a double-double with 9 boards. Ariya Crook joined Harberts in double digits with 10 points, while Alexyz Vaioletama hauled in nine rebounds as well for the Trojan cause. Three different Trojans punched up eight points apiece -- Kiki Alofaituli, Brianna Barrett and Courtney Jaco. The Bruins also had two players finish in double figures, led by a game-high 25 points from Atonye Nyingifa with Thea Lemberger tallying 12 points. Corinne Costa had 11 rebounds and seven blocks for UCLA.
USC constructed an 8-0 run to shove its way to a 13-4 lead on the Bruins with Desiree Bradley and Brianna Barrett score four points apiece in the surge. Bradley would nail a three later to make it 16-7 Trojans entering the 10-minute mark. UCLA managed its first back-to-back buckets to bring the score to 18-13 Trojans with 7:50 to go in the half. USC responded with a 7-0 run next, sparked by a three from Courtney Jaco and followed by two more scores from Cassie Harberts as USC went up 27-15. Harberts worked her way into double digits later, and Jordan Adams and Kate Oliver also got in on the scoring action before the break as the Trojans took a 33-20 lead into the locker room.
USC got out of the gates strong in the second half with scores from Alexyz Vaioletama and Kiki Alofaituli. That combo pack fired off another set of scores later, and Jaco landed another big three to pump the Trojans up to a 46-25 advantage five minutes into the second half. UCLA was able to manufacture a 9-0 run to close the score to a 52-42 USC lead entering the final six minutes of play. Ariya Crook stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer that padded it back to a 55-42 USC lead with under 6 to go. USC made it a solid finish to the final buzzer from there, wrapping up a 68-54 win over its rival.
The Trojans return to action next week with a trip to Oregon. USC will visit the Ducks for a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday (Feb. 14) before heading to Oregon State for a 3 p.m. clash on Sunday (Feb. 16).