USC Women Crash Quinnipiac 78-59|
Nov. 28, 2010
NASHVILLE, TENN. - The USC women's basketball team got career-high rebounding from Christina Marinacci and Briana Gilbreath as the Trojans won out on the boards and finally on the scoreboard in a 78-59 victory over Quinnipiac today. Playing in the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament, the Women of Troy rebounded from a tight loss to Princeton by forcing their way out of another close start against the Bobcats. Marinacci and Gilbreath both finished with double-doubles on the day, leading four Trojans in double-digit scoring. USC improves to 4-2 with the win, and Quinnipiac goes to 0-5.
Briana Gilbreath led all scorers with 18 points to go with 14 rebounds, while Marinacci actually crashed the boards even harder as the sophomore emerged with 18 rebounds along with 15 points, earning herself a place on the All-Tournament Team. Ashley Corral dumped in 16 points for the Trojans, and Jacki Gemelos joined the double-digit rally with 11. USC finished the game shooting 35 percent, a step behind Quinnipiac's 37 percent outing, but was well ahead on the boards in outrebounding the Bobcats 58-36. The 3-point game was claimed by Quinnipiac with the Bobcats nailing 7-of-17 to outpace USC's 3-of-21 effort. Felicia Barron hit two of Quinnipiac's threes and finished with a team-high 11 points, while Brittany McQuain had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
USC had to fend off a hot-shooting Quinnipiac squad in the first half, fighting back from trailing four times before the Bobcats locked it up 35-35 for halftime. Quinnipiac was shooting 44 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range to dump pressure on the Trojans, who were a cool 31 percent from the field and 17 percent from behind the arc. It was the boards that kept USC in the game, as the Trojans were up 27-16 thanks in large part to a halftime nine from Marinacci.
Marinacci's dedication to crashing the boards generated a three-point surge from the free-throw line for the Trojans to take USC back ahead and make it a one-point lead at 12:50. After another Quinnipiac make, Desireé Brown dumped in a 3-pointer, and locked the game up 17-17 at the 12-minute mark. More Marinacci free throws followed up a Len'Nique Brown steal to take USC to its largest lead of the first 10 minutes of play, with USC leading 21-17 at the midway point of the first half. The Bobcats were shooting 54 percent from the floor at that mark, but blocks from Jacki Gemelos, Briana Gilbreath and Marinacci interrupted Quinnipiac's flow while the Trojans made a 10-0 run. Quinnipiac hit a three to end the streak and would add another later as the Bobcats cut it back to a one-point game entering the final four minutes of the half.
Marinacci worked her way into double digits on the boards, while Briana Gilbreath had herself in double-double territory with an early push that got her to 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first stretch of the second half. Corral's 13th points of the night gave USC its largest lead yet at 51-43, but the Bobcats countered quickly with a fast break score that brought it back to a six-point USC advantage with 12:20 on the clock. Marinacci joined Briana Gilbreath on the double-double list in taking a pass from Kari LaPlante and finishing low to bump the Trojans into a double-figure lead, up 56-45 with 9:05 to go. The Trojans maintained control down the stretch thanks to continued determination on the boards that saw Marinacci and Briana Gilbreath roll into new career highs. Jacki Gemelos worked into double figures as four Trojans finished in double digits and all nine Women of Troy who hit the floor scored points on the day en route to a 78-59 final in USC's favor.
The Trojans reset for a new road trip next, with USC heading to Xavier and NC State next week. USC visits Xavier on Thursday (Dec. 2) and then head to face NC State on Sunday (Dec. 5).