USC Women Take No. 12 ASU To Double OT, Falling Just Short in 76-73 Loss|
Feb. 22, 2015
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with the No. 12 team in the nation, battling through two overtimes against visiting Arizona State after having trailed by as much as 10 during the second half. A heroic effort from senior Alexyz Vaioletama had USC in stride during OT, but the Sun Devils caught a late break and would hold on for a 76-73 final double-overtime victory over the Trojans today at Galen Center. The loss puts USC at 15-12 overall and 7-9 in Pac-12 play, while No. 12 Arizona State moves to 24-4, 13-3.
ASU had the hot hand in the first half, going 58 percent from the floor to eclipse an early three-point USC lead. The Trojans were hampered by a six-minute scoreless stretch from the floor while the Sun Devils crafted a run into the lead. Shooting 39 percent from the floor, USC was unable to keep pace as ASU got in a groove and grabbed a 37-29 halftime lead. USC was up to the challenge. The Trojans tightened their defense in the second half and upped their scoring pace to work into the lead for the first time since the early stages of the game. USC would shoot 60 percent from the floor in the second half and lead by four with 1:20 left in regulation on back-to-back scores from senior Kaneisha Horn. ASU answered and had a chance for the win from the free-throw line with 4.4 seconds, missing the mark and winding up even at 64-64 to bring up overtime.
USC got the first lead of the first OT frame only to see ASU fire back and take a two-point lead in the final minute. With 18.7 seconds left, Vaioletama stepped to the line and cal my sank both free throws to equalize and help send things to a second overtime, locked up 70-70 for the 13th tie of the game. VAiolatama would be the only Trojan to score in the second OT frame, while ASU countered with two buckets from Promise Amukamara and then got some padding from Eliza Normen to nudge ahead 76-73 in the final minute. The Sun Devil defense was effective in turning the Trojans away in the final stretch, as ASU hung on for the win.
The Sun Devils would wrap the game shooting 49 percent from the floor to lead USC's 41 percent. The Trojans were stronger on the boards to the tune of a 44-33 rebounding advantage, led by Vaioletama's 12 rebounds in finishing with a powerful double-double on an 18-point outing. She was joined in double figures by fellow senior Kaneisha Horn with 11 points and another 11 from sophomore Courtney Jaco, whose three 3-pointers in the first half were key in opening up the game for the Women of Troy. Vaioletama's fifth career double-double pulled the senior up to now rank No. 11 all-time in career rebounds, taking over the spot previously held by Shay Murphy as Vaioletama now holds 727 career boards.
ASU also had three players finish in double digits, led by a game-high 20 points from Amukamara. Sophie Brunner added 14 for the Sun Devils, and Elisha Davis added 11.
USC showed no fear against the Sun Devils, shrugging off four tie-ups with help from timely 3-point blasts from Courtney Jaco. The sophomore nailed a set of three 3-pointers to answer ASU buckets. Her third took the Trojans to a 19-16 lead with 12:55 on the clock, but the Sun Devils broke the cycle next in following up a three of their own with a run of defensive stops and buckets at the other end in crafting a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game. ASU got ahead 23-19 by the 10-minute mark on that scoring rally. Three minutes later, ASU was gripping a 26-20 advantage thanks to an offensive effort that had the Sun Devils shooting 69 percent from the floor with seven minutes left in the half. Scoreless from the floor for over six minutes, USC broke through on a score down low from Kristen Simon, making it a 27-22 margin with 6:00 on the clock. The Trojans reeled in the Sun Devils with a push from Vaioletama and Calvert to cut it to 32-29 with 2:00 to go, only to see ASU fire in a three and then convert on a fast break to punch up a 37-29 lead entering the final minute of the half.
USC got a crucial spark from Brianna Barrett in the early stages of the second half. Six straight pints from Barrett carried the Trojans on a 6-0 run that got the deficit down to four at 39-35 with 16:40 on the clock. Two new Trojan scorers got in on the action with Alexis Lloyd and Jordan Adams driving an 8-0 rally to trim the deficit to one, down 46-45 on Adams' 3-pointer at 11:25. Adams' energy boost combined with a pick and finish from Jaco edged USC into its first lead since the 12:35 mark, up 51-50 on ASU with 9:55 to go. Back-to-back buckets from Simon later would bump USC ahead 55-52 with 7:20 remaining. Three more ties would ensue in the next few minutes, and it was locked up 60-60 with 2:40 on the clock before Horn bumped the Trojans ahead 64-60 at 1:20 with her back-to-back jumpers. ASU got one to go to make it a two-point game entering the final minute. Calvert misfired on her trip to the free-throw line with 26 ticks to go, and ASU called timeout to set things up with 16.6 seconds left in regulation. ASU got the score in the paint and was granted the and-one on the foul, putting Sophie Brunner on the stripe for a chance to take ASU ahead with 4.4 seconds left. She'd hit the front rim only, and Vaioletama was there to collect the rebound, prompting USC to call timeout with 1.9 seconds on the clock.
Calvert buried a three for the go-ahead bucket as USC took the first lead of OT. ASU answered back and worked up to a 70-68 lead with 1:45 on the clock. That advantage would stand entering the final minute, where Vaioletama would get herself to the line with a chance to tie it with 18.7 seconds left. The senior buried both, and it was even at 70-70. ASU could not come up with the winner before the buzzer, and the second OT came next.
Vaioletama was the provider again, as her putback edged USC to a 73-72 lead at 3:40 as the teams continued to trade advantages. ASU answered back to a 74-73 advantage with 3:30 to go, and it would sit at that spot for the next two minutes of action. ASU would break the scoreless stretch with a take to the hoop with 57 seconds left, moving to a 76-73 lead on that score. Adams made a great hustle play to track down an offensive board but came up empty from the stripe with 25 seconds on the clock. A defensive board from Vaioletama got USC back on the attack, and the Trojans had the ball out of bounds with 6.2 seconds left and trailing by three. ASU was stalwart in preventing a clean USC look at a three for an equalizer in the remaining seconds, and the Sun Devils were able to hang on to a 76-73 final score for the win.
USC's final week of regular-season action takes the Trojans northward next. USC will pay a visit to Washington first for a 6 p.m. game on Thursday (Feb. 26) in Seattle. Then it's over to Pullman to face Washington State at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 28) to wrap the regular season and get set for the Pac-12 Tournament.
ARIZONA STATE 76, USC 73 (2OT)
Arizona State................. 37 27 6 6 - 76
3-point goals--Arizona State 5-13 (Hempen, Katie 2-6; Davis, Elisha 1-2; Amukamara, Peace 1-2; Amukamara, Promise 1-3), USC 6-18 (Jaco, Courtney 3-6; Calvert, McKenzie 2-4; Adams, Jordan 1-2; Lloyd, Alexis 0-2; Horn, Kaneisha 0-1; Vaioletama, Alexyz 0-3).
ASSOCIATED PRESS RECAP
LOS ANGELES (AP) Promise Amukamara scored 20 points and Sophie Brunner added 14 as No.12 Arizona State beat USC, 76-73, in double overtime on Sunday.
Elisha Davis had 11 points and five assists as the Sun Devils (24-4, 13-3 Pac-12) won their third straight game.
Amukamara made a jumper to give Arizona State a 74-73 lead and Eliza Normen extended it to 76-73 with a running bank shot. USC twice had a chance to tie in the final 10 seconds but Alexyz Vaioletama's 3-point shot was blocked by Brunner and Normen made another block.
Vaioletama led the Trojans (15-12, 7-9) with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Courtney Jaco and Kaneisha Horn scored 11 points apiece. USC lost despite outscoring Arizona State, 18-4, on second chance points and a 45-33 rebounding edge.
Vaioletama made two free throws to tie it at 70 to force double overtime. Katie Hempen scored in the paint to put the Sun Devils ahead, 70-68, before Davis and Brunner missed jumpers.
There were 12 lead changes in the final 20 minutes.
Horn put USC ahead, 64-60, on the second of back-to-back jumpers with 1:17 left in regulation. Arizona State had a chance at the game-winning point when Brunner was fouled on a turnaround bank shot with 4.4 seconds remaining to tie it 64-64, but she missed the free throw.
Jordan Adams sparked USC to an 11-5 run with a three-point play, a 3-pointer and a drive midway through the second half after she briefly came out of the game when she banged her hip.
Arizona State has already clinched a first-round bye in next month's league tournament.
Arizona State: Coach Charli Turner Thorne is one win shy of 350. After making two 3-pointers in the game, Katie Hempen needs three 3-pointers to break Briann January's school single-season record of 65 from 2008-09. Second-leading rebounder Kelsey Moos missed her fourth straight game because of an elbow injury.
USC: The Trojans are 0-7 against ranked teams this season. Vaioletama and Horn played their last home games and were honored on senior day. It was the first meeting between the teams since USC upset Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.