USC Women Surge To 88-78 Win At Oregon
Feb. 14, 2014
EUGENE, ORE. -- The USC women's basketball team powered up at the right times tonight, finding one last surge to victory to shut down host Oregon for an 88-78 Trojan victory on the road. The lead traded hands nine times in the game, but it was the Women of Troy who lit the lamp with the winning push, sparked by a double-double from Cassie Harberts to help make it a season sweep of the Ducks. USC improves to 16-9 overall and 9-4 in Pac-12 play with the victory, while Oregon goes to 13-11, 4-9.
Oregon got hot for a 7-0 run that gave the Trojans some work to do in the first half, but USC answered the call with a 9-0 run into the lead while holding the Ducks scoreless from the floor for the last six minutes of the half to take a 41-32 lead into the locker room. USC was shooting 30 percent from the field, and Oregon was at 31 percent at halftime, but the Trojans made sure to get to that free-throw line to help their cause. USC was 13-of-16 from the line in the first half to Oregon's 4-of-7 effort by the break. Things got wilder in the second half, with the Ducks making runs only to have the Trojans find an answer. Oregon constructed an 11-2 push late in the half to build a five-point lead with under 5 minutes to go, but USC dug back in.
The Trojans would bust out of a 78-78 lockup and keep the Ducks scoreless for the last two minutes of play to surge to the 88-78 victory. USC finished out the game shooting 40 percent from the floor to Oregon's 31 percent. The teams finished up even with six 3-pointers apiece, and Oregon led on the boards 55-49. USC had Cassie Harberts leading the charge with a double-double on 28 points and 10 rebounds, followed by 25 from Ariya Crook, 15 from Alexyz Vaioletama and 11 from Desiree Bradley. Oregon got a powerful double-double from Jillian Alleyne, who had 19 points and 24 rebounds in the losing effort. Her fellow Duck Chrishae Rowe had a game-high 28 points, joined in double figures by Ariel Thomas with 15 points for the Ducks.
Less than a minute after Cassie Harberts knocked down two free throws to get USC on the board and scoot herself into the No. 8 all-time scoring spot in the Trojan history books, the lights in Oregon's Matt Knight Arena went out -- with 18:44 on the clock. That meant the Ducks would hold onto their slim 6-2 lead for another 15 minutes as the lights were given time to come back to life. Play would resume at 8 p.m., and USC also found some life soon after. The Trojans would close the gap and take a lead on a three from Ariya Crook, but the lead would trade hands a few more times in the next stretch. It was tied up at 23-23 with 7:14 to go in the half when the Ducks manufactured a 7-0 run. Crook stopped the bleeding with two fruitful trips to the stripe, cutting it down to a 30-27 Oregon lead with 4 minutes left in the half. A Desiree Bradley 3-pointer locked it back up for the fifth time, and Crook took another trip to the line to make it a 9-0 Trojan run. The Women of Troy kept clicking, as the Ducks were able only to sink a few free throws in the last few minutes while USC built up a 41-32 halftime advantage.
Turnovers had the ball trading hands fast and furiously in the first two minutes of the second half. The Trojans benefited from the fourth one when Kiki Alofaituli hit Crook for a runner that got USC ahead 43-32. The Ducks finished off back-to-back three-point plays to eat into the USC lead, cutting it down to 47-42 on an 8-0 surge that was eventually snapped by a score from Harberts off an Alexyz Vaioletama feed at 14:50. Another Bradley three helped boost the Trojans ahead 61-52 just across the 10-minute mark, but the Ducks crept closer again. With 8 minutes left in the game, it was a three-point game, with USC holding a 64-61 edge. Oregon was in the midst of an 11-2 run that got the hosts into the lead for the first time since the 7:50 mark of the first half. The Trojans would fall behind 72-67 with 4:55 to go before finding the will to fight back. Harberts slipped in a score down low, then drained two tosses from the stripe to cut ti within one. Crook converted on a take to the hole next, and USC was back on top, 73-72 with 3:42 remaining.
Fouled on a 3-point try and down by three, Oregon's Chrishae Rowe drained all three to tie it up 78-78 on the way into the last two minutes of play. Vaioletama found Harberts in the paint next, and after a Ducks miss on the next trip down, Vaioletama finished one off for herself to take the Trojans ahead 82-78. USC was able to haul in the defensive boards the rest of the way while getting the job done from the line to wrap up a n 88-78 win over the Ducks.
USC now travels to Corvallis for a battle with Oregon State at noon on Sunday (Feb. 16).