USC Women Find Winning Form With 85-59 Victory At Cancun Challenge|
Nov. 29, 2013
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO -- The USC women's basketball team got back in winning mode with authority tonight at the Cancun Challenge, serving up a 85-59 victory over UNC Wilmington on day two of action in Riviera Maya, Mexico. A force to reckon with in their second game of action, 12 different Women of Troy got in on the scoring for USC, which established a 30-point lead at halftime and held strong down to the end. The win snaps a three-game slump by the Trojans, who are now 4-3 overall.
USC's Ariya Crook led a balanced crop of Trojans in the scoring column tonight with 18 points, joined by Brianna Barrett with 12 and Cassie Harberts with 11. Alexyz Vaioletama was USC's leader on the boards with 10 of the Trojans' 37 rebounds, as USC beat out the Seahawks 37-23 on the boards. USC finished up shooting 55 percent from the floor, leading UNC Wilmington's 43 percent after a much improved second half for the Seahawks. In the end, UNCW's Kelva Atkins finished with a game-high 25 points, while Brie Mobley added 13.
USC was on its game in the first half of action, shooting at a 59-percent clip to overmatch 27 percent from the floor by UNC Wilmington. Cassie Harberts and Ariya Crook were in the books will double digits already as USC was up 48-18 on the Seahawks by halftime.
USC's Cassie Harberts was tagged with three fouls in one minute to open the second half of action to take some wind out of the Trojans' sails early on. The Seahawks' first foul of the half came with 14:05 on the clock, but USC's 30-point advantage was still in full effect. Rachel Totten tore down a rebound and later set up Drew Edelman for a score down load to carry the Trojans ahead 72-40 as the teams entered the final 8 minutes of action. The USC defense shut down the Seahawks at one end and saw Desiree Bradley dump in a bucket the other way. Trojan Kaneisha Horn continued the balanced scoring from USC, and the Women of Troy were enjoying a 76-42 lead with 7 minutes to go.
The Seahawks were more effective in the second half of play, going 59 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes, but were too far out of reach of the determined Trojans, who were focused in on a much-needed victory after taking three straight losses. Courtney Jaco sealed the deal for USC with one last bucket to end it as an 85-59 USC win.
USC wraps up competition at the Cancun Challenge tomorrow (Nov. 30) with a game at 5 p.m. CT against Boston College.