USC Women Blast The Bruins 66-54
Feb. 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team pinned up its biggest win over crosstown rival UCLA in 10 tries as the Trojans rolled the Bruins 66-54 in Pac-12 play at the Galen Center today. USC got a game-high 26 points from Cassie Harberts and a double-double from Briana Gilbreath to propel USC out of reach of UCLA. With a season sweep of the Bruins, USC improves to 14-11 overall and 8-6 in Pac-12 play, while UCLA goes to 12-13, 7-7.
The USC defense clamped down on the Bruins to the tune of 14 UCLA turnovers in the first half. UCLA shot 23 percent from the floor in the first half to USC's 31 percent as the Trojans took a 35-31 halftime advantage. Senior Briana Gilbreath locked in on the 13th double-double of her career during the early goings of the second half. The Trojans would amass a 23 points lead before the Bruins cut to make it a 10-point game with 3:20 to go, but USC's power was too great and the Trojans fought off the Bruins to pocket the 66-54 win.
At halftime, USC retired the jerseys of Trojan greats Pam and Paula McGee in a ceremony honoring the two USC All-Americans and back-to-back NCAA champions.
USC finished the game shooting 35 percent from the floor to UCLA's 27 percent and outrebounded the Bruins 48-37 in the game. Gilbreath's double-double included 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans to go with Harberts' game-high 26 points and nine boards. UCLA was led by 18 points from Rebekah Gardner and Markel Walker's double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Cassie Harberts put USC up by double digits with a score in the paint to take the sophomore to 13 points in the game with four minutes to go. USC then scooted out on a 10-3 run in the next three minutes to put the Bruins behind 32-17 with a minute to go before UCLA managed a three-point play to wrap up the half as a 35-21 USC advantage.
After a tough stretch from the floor, Christina Marinacci through and dumped in a 3-pointer with 15:10 on the clock, and Harberts deposited two free throws soon after to help USC along on a 7-0 run to a 46-28 lead. A Marinacci steal helped key another USC push as the Trojans built up a 54-32 lead with 9:50 to go on four more points from Harberts and buckets from Ariya Crook and Desiree Bradley.
UCLA managed to score back-to-back baskets from the floor for the first time in the game with a 9-0 run that cut the score to a 56-42 USC lead with 5:55 on the clock. Harberts put a stop to the stretch with a pair of free throws, and Ashley Corral sliced her way to the hoop next to get USC back up 60-42 entering the final five, and the Trojans were in good position to close out the win.
USC has its final regular-season home stand next weekend with matchups against the Arizona schools. USC will host Arizona at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 23) and then takes on ASU at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25) at the Galen Center. Saturday's game will also be Senior Day for the Trojans, who will honor their graduating Women of Troy.