Gilbreaths Combine Forces For 78-63 USC Win Over Wildcats|
Feb. 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team punched up its third straight win in its push toward a winning run to the end of the regular season by registering a 78-62 win over Arizona tonight at the Galen Center. The Trojans pulled out of a see-saw battle in the first half and a late first-half tie-up to peel ahead to a solid victory over the Wildcats. With the win, USC improves to 15-11 overall and takes a spot in third place in the Pac-12 standings at 9-6. Arizona goes to 14-14, 3-13.
Briana and Stefanie Gilbreath joined together for double digits apiece for the second time - the only other time also against Arizona earlier this season - with Stefanie leading the pack with 18 points and sister Briana tallying 14. In doing so, Briana Gilbreath moved up to take over No. 9 all-time in career scoring at USC, passing up Cynthia Cooper to now hold 1,563 career points.
They weren't alone in the double-digit trend today, though. Cassie Harberts hauled in a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Ashley Corral nailed 17 points thanks in part to three 3-pointers to match Stefanie Gilbreath's trio of threes. Not to be left out of the big numbers on the night, Christina Marinacci pulled in 11 rebounds to help USC outpace the Wildcats on the boards 50-32 in the win. For Arizona, Erica Barnes had a game-high 20 points, with Davellyn White adding 13 before fouling out, and Reiko Thomas finished with 10 points. USC shot 39 percent from the floor to Arizona's 38 percent.
Arizona and USC fought through seven lead changes in the first 16 minutes of action before the Trojans closed out the first half on a 9-2 run. In the second half, USC would put Arizona behind by as much as 17 points, up 67-50 on another bucket from Harberts. The Women of Troy stayed in control down the stretch to lock away an important win in the race to the coming Pac-12 Tournament and to keep hopes alive of a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
USC now turns to host Arizona State in a crucial Pac-12 clash at the Galen Center. The Trojans face the Sun Devils at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25) following a ceremony to honor USC's five graduating seniors: Ashley Corral, Jacki Gemelos, Briana Gilbreath, Stefanie Gilbreath and Michelle Jenkins.