Six Trojans Hit Double Digits In Classic Win|
Dec. 20, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team topped out with new season highs in its push to claim the title at the 2009 Women of Troy Basketball Classic. The Trojans peeled out ahead of Cal State Bakersfield in the title match on Sunday afternoon at the Galen Center and pinned up a 93-56 win over the Roadrunners for USC's highest scoring effort of the year to go along with a season-high 58 rebounds and 25 assists. All eight active Women of Troy scored in the game, with Hailey Dunham and Kari LaPlante notching double-doubles in the win. USC improves to 6-4 overall with the victory, while Cal State Bakersfield goes to 5-7.
Ashley Corral - who had 15 points and seven rebounds in today's game - was named the Tournament MVP, and Heather Oliver - with 14 points today - was named to the All-Tournament Team. Corral and Oliver matched each other with 18 points each in USC's opening win over Dartmouth. Joining Corral and Oliver in double figures against the Roadrunners were four other Women of Troy. Aarika Hughes hit a career-high 15 points, Briana Gilbreath had 13, LaPlante had 12 to go with 10 rebounds for the first double-double of her career, and Dunham had 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
USC turned up its efforts significantly on the boards for the championship match and had seven players in on the scoring by halftime as the Trojans were shooting at a 44-percent clip in the first half. Cal State Bakersfield had Katie Williams leading all scorers with 12 points at the half, but the Roadrunners were shooting 27.5 percent from the floor and trailed 43-29 at the break. CSUB finished out the game shooting 33 percent and got a game-high 21 points from Katie Williams, but USC's 58-30 advantage on the boards and 48-percent shooting effort kept the Trojans more than a few steps ahead down the stretch.
The Roadrunners forced five lead changes and held a slim 15-14 lead at 11:45 in the first before the Trojans manufactured a run-and-gun effort to push out ahead. USC had led by six in the early goings of the half, and got back to a more comfortable lead by the 5-minute mark of the first. The Women of Troy mixed up their attack, getting a post move from Kari LaPlante and then Heather Oliver's second three of the day. Briana Gilbreath hit Aarika Hughes down low next, and Oliver converted a fast break layup toon after to carry USC ahead 34-22. CSUB's Amber Williams drained a three to cut it to a single-digit lead, only to see USC's Daniela Roark knock down one of her own 10 seconds later for the Trojans. And thanks to a late fast break converted by Hailey Dunham, USC had a 43-29 lead at the half.
An impressive effort by Kari LaPlante under the basket kicked off the second half for the Women of Troy as they worked ahead by 20 within the first five minutes of the half on a jumper from LaPlante. Left open on the wing, Corral slammed home her third 3-pointer of the night to pump USC up 58-36. Soon, Marinacci made it a clean eight Trojans in the scoring column with a jumper at the 12-minute mark, and USC was up 62-39 on the Roadrunners. As USC continued to roll toward a season-high scoring effort, several Trojans worked their ways into career days. Hughes secured a career-high 15 points; Dunham ripped town a career-high 13 rebounds for a double-double day to go along with a tied best of six assists. LaPlante also matched her career high with 10 rebounds in the game.
USC's next competition comes at the Galen Center on December 30 in a 6 p.m. game against North Carolina State to round out the Trojans' nonconference competition on the year.
2009 WOMEN OF TROY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM