USC Women Overpower Arkansas State 72-58
Nov. 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - Cassie Harberts secured her third straight double-double and Christina Marinacci picked up one of her own to lead a full load of Trojans in the scoring column tonight for a 72-58 USC women's basketball win over visiting Arkansas State. USC was looking for some redemption against the Red Wolves, who edged out the visiting Trojans last season in USC's first-ever trip to the state of Arkansas. Tonight, the Women of Troy were in control the whole way in a total team effort that saw every Trojan on the floor score in the victory at the Galen Center. USC improves to 2-1 overall with the win. Arkansas State goes to 0-5.
USC was perfect from the free-throw line in the first half, going 14-of-14 to supplement a 37-percent effort from the floor as nine different Women of Troy got on the board with points by halftime. A hefty rebounding advantage of 25-13 also helped USC keep out ahead of the Red Wolves, who shot 24 percent in the half. A few free-throws would go awry in the second half for USC, which finished up 18-of-22 from the line, but USC heated up significantly from the floor to round out the game shooting 47 percent to Arkansas State's 38 percent. USC owned the boards, too, with a 42-26 effort. Harberts led all scorers with 15 points to go with 10 rebounds in tacking up her ninth career double-double. Marinacci hauled in 11 boards and added 12 points for her sixth career double-double. Freshman Jordan Adams tallied her first career double-digit performance with 11 points for USC. Arkansas State was led by 11 points from Ashley Olvera, and received 10 points from Jane Morrill.
USC's newcomers took charge in the first half of play. Jordan Adams' first career 3-pointer bought the Trojans a 24-10 lead on the Red Wolves with 6 minutes on the clock and put the freshman a point shy of double figures. By that point, her fellow freshman Brianna Barrett was also on the board. Two other newcomers who had sat out last season due to transfer rules, Kiki Alofaituli and Kate Oliver, had also dumped in points. Minutes later, true freshman Destinie Gibbs plugged in a pair of free throws, and USC was up 34-13 with halftime approaching. The veteran of the bunch, junior Cassie Harberts, provided her points from the free-throw line, keeping USC perfect from the stripe in the half as she slipped in an 8-for-8 effort to help the Trojans to a 39-20 halftime advantage.
Alexyz Vaioletama got in on the scoring action in the second half, nailing a three for the Trojan cause to notch a 20-point lead for USC five minutes into the second. The Red Wolves would manufacture an 8-0 after that, however, cutting into the USC lead to make it 48-36, but Christina Marinacci stopped the run with two more Trojan free throws, and USC was up 50-36 with 12 minutes to go. Marinacci served a block at one end next, then finished off the break with a layup to put the senior in double figures along with Harberts. USC's first free-throw miss of the night came after a nice finish from Barrett, who put the Trojans up 56-40 although her and-one was off the mark to put USC 16-of-17 from the line with 9:30 remaining. A three-point play from Alofaituli propped up the USC edge to 21 entering the last seven minutes, while Arkansas State was still looking to get a player in double digits. Marinacci hauled in her sixth career double-double and first of the season with a big board late in the game, and Harberts followed suit with her third straight double-double with a board soon after, as USC carried a 68-54 lead into the last two minutes of play to remain in control for the final 72-58 win.
USC now turns to host its first ranked team of the season when No. 20 Nebraska comes to town for a 2 p.m. game on Friday (Nov. 23). The clash will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.