USC Women Wrap Regular Season On A Winning Note
March 3, 2013
TEMPE, ARIZ. -- The USC women's basketball team withstood another Arizona State second-half push and held its ground today for a 67-60 road win over the host Sun Devils. The victory wraps up the regular season on a winning note for the Trojans, who tallied their 10th win of the season and grabbed the No. 7 seed into the coming Pac-12 Tournament. In avenging an earlier loss to the Sun Devils with this win, USC finishes the regular season at 10-19 overall with a 7-11 Pac-12 mark. ASU goes to 13-17, 5-13.
Up 34-23 at the half, the Trojans were on the hook to preserve their halftime lead this time after the Sun Devils had erased a 16-point deficit to win in the teams' last meeting. ASU put pressure on USC once again and cut it to a four-point game in the final minute. This time, however, the Women of Troy would hold off the Sun Devils to finish out a 67-60 victory.
USC's Cassie Harberts made it back-to-back double-doubles on this road trip with her 12 points and 10 rebounds on the day. USC had four players in doubles figures in this one, led by Christina Marinacci and Ariya Crook with 13 points apiece. Both Crook and Marinacci sank clutch free throws for the Trojans down the stretch, going 8-of-9 and 7-of-8, respectively, from the line. Also finishing up in double digits today was Kiki Alofaituli with 11 points. In all, USC shot 42 percent from the floor in the winning effort, ahead of ASU's 32 percent but behind on the boards 44-35. The Sun Devils were led by a game-high 17 points from Janae Fulcher and 10 from Promise Amukamara.
The Trojans made a 7-0 run to create some room on the Sun Devils in the first eight minutes of action. Later in the half, a bucket from Kate Oliver preserved an eight-point lead for USC and, after a Destinie Gibbs steal, Ariya Crook landed a three to lift the Trojans to their first double-digit lead, up 27-16. Gibbs would get a good roll on her next jumper, and USC was up 29-16 with 3:50 to go in the half. ASU was gifted a trip to the line with no time on the clock, hitting the back end of the visit to round out the half as a 34-23 USC lead.
The Sun Devils found a second-half spark once again, but the Trojans worked hard to hold their ground. ASU got to within four at 45-41 with 7:12 on the clock, but USC finally managed its first back-to-back buckets of the half to get a leg up. A three-point play from Cassie Harberts got the junior to another double-double and also lifted USC to a 54-46 lead with 2:32 to go. ASU landed a three with 30 seconds remaining to make it a seven-point game with USC up 64-57. After forcing a jump ball, the Sun Devils were able to convert a three-play to cut in further, making it 64-60 USC with 20 ticks to go. USC responded with free throws from Alexyz Vaioletama and Christina Marinacci to hold on for a 67-60 victory to wrap up the regular season on a winning note.