Ariya Crook Cooks Cal In Overtime|
Feb. 11, 2012
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team won its first game in Berkeley since 2005 in possibly the most dramatic fashion imaginable. After watching host California drain a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime, then falling in a seven-point hole in overtime, USC freshman Ariya Crook scored all 11 points in the final five minute for the Trojans, including a layup with five seconds left. That shot lifted USC to a long-awaited win over the Bears with a heart-stopping 76-75 victory tonight in Berkeley, Calif. USC improves to 13-11 overall and 7-6 in Pac-12 play with the win, and Cal goes to 18-7, 9-4.
The score locked up 10 times in the game and traded hands 11 times. Two of those lead changes were with backs to the wall. After USC took its largest lead of the game with 2:30 to go in regulation, Cal did the unimaginable, with Layshia Clarendon landing a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer to steal a regulation win from the Trojans.
In overtime, Cal scored the first seven points of the game, putting USC in its deepest hole since late in the first half. Down 72-65 with 1:50 to go, USC buckled down. Freshman Ariya Crook was up to the task, with senior guard Ashley Corral sidelined with 4 minutes left in regulation. She would score all of USC's points in overtime, including the last six big points in the final minute. After cutting it to three with 50 ticks to go, USC saw Cal turn the ball over on a violation on the inbounds. Crook made the Bears pay dearly for the mistake, making it a one-point game with 40 second left. Clarendon was then whistled for an offensive foul on Cal's next trip down, giving USC the ball for a winning attack. Crook converted on a clutch layup with just five second left, and Cal would not find a heroic buzzer beater this time around.
USC shot 50 percent from the field in the second half of play to help force the issue in recovering from a 34-29 halftime deficit. The Trojans finished up the game at a 43-percent clip to beat out Cal's 41 percent. USC got a game-high 24 points from Briana Gilbreath to go with a career-high 21 points from Crook. Christina Marinacci was at the helm on the boards for USC, finishing with 13 on the night. Cal got a doub le-double from Gennifer Brandon (22 points, 17 rebounds) along with 12 points from Clarendon, 11 from Lindsay Sherbert and 10 from Brittany Boyd. Boyd fouled out of the game with 18 seconds left in regulation.
USC's last win over Cal in Berkeley came in January 2005, the last season that the Trojans picked up two conference wins over the Bears.
USC now heads back to Los Angeles to take on crosstown rival UCLA in a 12 p.m. game on Sunday (Feb. 19) at the Galen Center.