USC Women Hold Off Gauchos For 62-51 Road Win
Nov. 27, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team had to find some composure down the stretch when host UC Santa Barbara cut an 18-point Trojan lead down to six with 1:15 left to play. In USC's most productive 3-point effort of the season, it was a clutch three from freshman Destinie Gibbs -- USC's ninth of the night -- that helped ease some pressure and roll the Trojans to a 62-51 final victory over the Gauchos in Santa Barbara, Calif. USC improves to 3-2 overall with the win, and UCSB goes to 2-4.
A see-saw start had the Trojans tested through much of the first half until the USC defense finally settled in and slowed the Gauchos down from 43 percent shooting with 8 minutes to go to 38 percent in the half as a whole. The Trojans, meanwhile, dumped in some key 3-pointers to go along with those defensive stops, and USC eventually got up 31-22 on its host by halftime thanks to 50 percent shooting.
The Trojans were able to balance a nice inside-out game with Cassie Harberts doing work down low for 17 points on the night to help open up the perimeter for USC's young sharpshooters. Freshman Jordan Adams nailed four threes and finished with 12 points to lead five different 3-point hitters in the win. USC finished out the game going 9-of-16 from 3-point land and was 49 percent overall from the floor. UCSB finished up at 48 percent overall after heating up to 61 percent in the second half to heap extra pressure on the Trojans late in the game. The Gauchos were led by Angelei Aguirre and Kendra Morrison with 13 and 11 points, respectively -- all in the second half. USC won out on the boards 28-22.
After a back-and-forth battle through the first 10 minutes of play, Kate Oliver dumped in a low score after Jordan Adams' second 3-pointer of the night to give the Trojans the most padding they had seen to that point, up 17-13 with 8:51 on the clock. UCSB fired right back, however, dumping in a three next to close back in, and the Gauchos had soon snagged back a slim lead. The Trojans would buckle down on defense after that, though. USC forced a pair of shot clock violations by the Gauchos while constructing a 12-5 run to a 29-22 lead with 1:50 to go in the half. Some nifty ball movement resulted in a Kate Oliver jumper with a minute to go, and after two more defensive stops the Trojans took a 31-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
USC beefed up its lead to double digits out of the gates as Cassie Harberts put in a pair down low to get herself into double digits as well for the fifth straight game. USC was up 35-22 with Harberts' effort in the paint just over a minute into the second half. That power in the paint opened up the perimeter for the Trojans, and Ariya Crook nailed a three and Jordan Adams pumped in her third of the game just before Kiki Alofaituli finished off a runner to take the Trojans ahead 53-35 entering the final 10 minutes. UCSB answered with a 9-0 run next, however, to keep some pressure on USC for the final three minutes in cutting it to a nine-point game. Harberts broke almost five minutes of scoring silence by the Trojans in hitting the back end of her free throws at 2:54. It got dicier from there. A turnover by USC led to another UCSB bucket as the score was cut to a 57-51 USC lead entering the final minute, where freshman Destinie Gibbs drained a clutch three to ease the pressure and help roll the Trojans to a final 62-51 victory.
The Women of Troy continue their road stretch with a trip to San Diego State next, facing the Aztecs at 7 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 30).