Women's Basketball
    No. 5 Duke Dishes Up A Win Over Visiting USC
    Kari LaPlante
    Kari LaPlante

    Nov. 15, 2010

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    DURHAM, N.C. - The USC women's basketball team came up against a tough No. 5 Duke squad on Monday night on the Trojans' quick trip to the East Coast, falling 75-50 to the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Women of Troy had trouble hitting their offensive stride, while Duke put distance between itself and USC down the stretch. The game was USC's second against a ranked opponent to open the 2010-11 campaign, as the Trojans go to 1-1 overall. Duke holds a 2-0 start to the season.

    The Trojans tallied the first points of the night, but fell prey to a persistent Blue Devil gameplan that interrupted USC's rhythm while Duke capitalized on the other end. Duke finished out the game shooting at a 42 percent clip to overpower USC's 32 percent output. Duke's accuracy from beyond the arc also outmatched the Trojans' as the Blue Devils hit six 3-pointers at a 46 percent push to USC's four on 21 percent shooting from 3-point range. Both teams finished with two players in doubles figures on the scoring front and one in double digits on the boards, but again Duke's all-around effort outpaced the Trojans.

    Jasmine Thomas had a game-high 14 points to lead the Blue Devils, who had all 10 players who hit the floor score in the game. Krystal Thomas was a rebound away from a double-double for Duke with 11 points and nine rebounds, and Haley Peters led all with 13 boards on the night. USC's offensive effort was led by Briana Gilbreath's 10 points - including three 3-pointers for the Trojans - and 10 points from Ashley Corral while Christina Marinacci had her second straight double-digit rebounding night with 10 boards tonight.

    USC's biggest lead of the night came in the first minute of play, while Duke's largest advantage came just ahead of the final buzzer. The Trojans fell behind in the first half while suffering from a 25 percent shooting slump while Duke shot at a 57 percent clip after the first eight minutes of play to climb ahead. A three-point play converted by the Blue Devils sent Duke ahead 24-11, while foul trouble was the name of the game for the Trojans in the first half. Stefanie Gilbreath - back on the court this season after three years on the sidelines with knee injuries - drained her first career 3-pointer next to breathe some life into the Trojan offense, and Jacki Gemelos responded with a flashy three-point play of her own soon after as USC made it a seven-point game with seven minutes remaining in the half. Duke forged ahead again, however, getting shots to go and taking trips to the line to put the Trojans back 40-22 at halftime.

    The teams stayed largely in stride through most of the second half until things began to unravel again for the Trojans at the hands of the hot-handed Blue Devils. Duke forced 11 second-half turnovers by the Trojans and upped their offensive output to 44 percent in the half whille the Trojans slumped to just under 30 percent from the floor. That left USC falling farther out of reach, and ultimately held Duke in position to wrap up a 75-50 final victory over the visiting Trojans.

    USC will now turn around and head back home after its one-game trip to the East Coast. The Trojans will host Long Beach State in a 2 p.m. game on Sunday (Nov. 21) at the Galen Center before taking on visiting Georgia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 23).