High Scoring In The Rockies As USC Tops Colorado 87-70
March 27, 2011
BOULDER, COLO. - The USC women's basketball team used the thin air to its advantage in Boulder, Colo., going 10-of-13 from 3-point land to pass up host Colorado for an 87-70 win in the WNIT Quarterfinals. Ashley Corral's hot hand at altitude hit a career-high seven 3-pointers for the Trojans on the way to a 32-point day by the junior guard. Her first career 30-point outing was the most points scored by a Trojan since 1997, and makes her just the third USC player to score 30 points or more in a postseason tournament game. USC improves to 23-12 overall and will now visit Illinois State in the WNIT Semifinals on Wednesday (March 30).
USC was down at halftime and trailed by five in the second half on an early 3-pointer from Colorado's Brittany Spears - who finished with 36 points in the game. That would be the only field goal to fall for the Buffaloes in the first 10 minutes of the half, however, as the Trojans tightened up their defense and started pouring in the points to take a lead with 16:42 to go and keep cruising out of reach of their hosts.
USC set a program record for 3-point percentage in a game (77 percent) with at least 10 attempts from beyond the arc, led by Corral's 7-of-8 effort on threes. Her 32 points was joined by 20 from Jacki Gemelos, who nailed the other three 3-pointers for the Trojans. Cassie Harberts and Kari LaPlante each scored 10 points and matched each other with five offensive rebounds apiece to help anchor a USC rebounding effort that overpowered Colorado 46-26 in the game. USC shot 47 percent from the floor overall to outpace Colorado's 41 percent. The Buffaloes had been undefeated when leading at halftime this year, but the Trojans dashed that stat with their comeback victory.
No lead was safe in the first half as the advantage changed hands 13 times in the first 20 minutes of action. Colorado got up by a max of four points on two occasions, the second time coming with a minute to go before USC's Jacki Gemelos finished a take to the paint to make it a 36-34 score in Colorado's favor for halftime.
The Trojan defense clamped down early in the second half, allowing just an opening 3-pointer from the Buffs as Colorado's only score from the floor through the first 10 minutes of the half. The Buffs got the rest of their points in that span from the free-throw line, while the Trojans fired off 26 points in that stretch, including three 3-pointers from Ashley Corral, who was hitting at a 6-for-6 clip from 3-point range. Colorado's Brittany Spears hit her fourth 3-pointer with 8:25 remaining, making it a 10-point game with USC up 62-52. Corral missed her first 3-pointer of the game a few minutes later, but Jacki Gemelos drained hers instead at the 5:30 mark to bump the Trojans to a 67-55 lead, and Corral nailed two free throws next to get USC up by 14 as the teams entered the final five minutes, and USC stayed out of reach the rest of the way.