No. 18 Cal Tallies 76-67 Win Over USC
Feb. 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team was outpaced by a determined No. 18 California squad today at the Galen Center, taking a 76-67 loss to the Golden Bears. The Trojans' third straight loss has USC holding a 16-12 overall record and a 9-7 record in Pac-12 play.
USC took the first lead of the game, but Cal fired back with a strong effort from the floor in the first half. The Bears hit at a 52-percent clip through the first 20 minutes of play while USC was at 43 percent to trail Cal 34-30 at the break. The Bears would keep that pace rolling through the second half as well, finishing up the game at 51 percent while USC was just off the mark at 44 percent. Cal also won out on the boards 38-30.
The Women of Troy were paced by Cassie Harberts' 11th consecutive game in doubles figures, hitting 18 points in this one to lead three USC scorers in double digits. Ariya Crook and Kiki Alofaituli both finished up with 10 points on the day. Highlighting the USC stat sheet was a full set of USC seniors on the board. All four seniors -- Harberts, Desiree Bradley, Kate Oliver and Rachel Totten -- scored buckets in their final game at Galen Center. For Totten, her basket was the first of her Trojan career.
Cal got a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds from Reshanda Gray, who scored the first eight points of the second half for the Bears. Afure Jemerigbe was the only other Cal player in double figures with 16 points today.
After USC got ahead 5-2 on an interception by Kiki Alofaituli and a three by Alexyz Vaioletama, the bears countered with an 8-0 run to a 10-5 advantage four minutes into the game. USC would cut it to a one-point margin, down 20-19 at 8:23, but the Trojans would go just 1-of-7 from the floor in the next stretch in falling behind 32-22 at the 3:25 mark. Harberts and Alofaituli manufactured back-to-back baskets next, and it was 32-26 with 1:30 remaining in the half. USC would punch in the last four points of the half thanks to a three drained by Ariya Crook with 22 ticks to go, making it a 34-30 Cal lead at the break.
To start the second half, USC came up empty while Cal's Reshanda Gray scored eight straight points during a 12-0 Bear surge to a 46-30 lead. Desiree Bradley snapped the run with a score down low with 16:15 on the clock. USC would get the deficit down to single digits in the last two minutes, but would get no closer than nine to the stubborn Bears. Cal was comfortably in double bonus while holding only five fouls of its own as the game ground down as a final 76-67 Cal victory.
USC now heads off to Utah and Colorado for the final week of regular-season action. The Trojans will visit the Utes for a rare Thursday (Feb. 27) clash at 7 p.m. MT before heading to Boulder to take on the Buffs at 12 p.m. MT on Sunday (March 2).