USC Women Overtaken By No. 16 Oklahoma State 66-62|
Dec. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team got stuck with its first home loss of the year when visiting No. 16 Oklahoma State made a second-half rally to pass up the Trojans and steal away a 66-62 victory today at Galen Center. The loss snapped a three-game win streak by the Women of Troy, who has now taken two losses this year to ranked opponents. Senior Alexyz Vaioletama led the charge for USC with 20 points today, but the Trojans took the loss to move to 8-3 overall. Oklahoma State goes to 9-1 with the victory.
USC was able to fend off the Cowgirls in the first half of action, finding a response for every Cowgirl push to rein in the Trojans. OSU got to within two during the final five minutes of the first half, only to see the Women of Troy nudge out ahead to a 31-25 halftime advantage. USC shot 42 percent in the first half to outpace Oklahoma State's 35 percent. USC's Alexyz Vaioletama was the only player in double figures through the first half, holding 10 points for the Trojan cause. Vaioletama stayed on pace, finishing with a team-high 20 points in the game. USC as a team, however, dropped off a bit in the second half. It wasn't much, but it was enough to open the door for the Cowgirls, who heated up considerably and stole away the lead with 11:30 to go. They'd hold on, even as USC made it a late two-point game, and finish out the win on 47 percent shooting overall. USC, meanwhile, wound up at 42 percent. Oklahoma State finished up ahead on the boards 37-27 and nailed five 3-pointers to beat out USC's three. Oklahoma State also was more efficient from the free-throw line, going 11-for-16 while USC finished 15-of-23.
Vaioletama (20 points) and Brianna Barrett (11 points) were the two Trojans in double figures today. Kaneisha Horn was close, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds. Oklahoma State was led by a game-high 21 points from Liz Donohoe, who nailed three 3-pointers, and received 17 points from Roshunda Johnson.
Alexyz Vaioletama scored six points and Brianna Barrett delivered a runner of a Cowgirl turnover during an 8-0 USC scoring surge that took the Trojans to an 11-2 advantage with 14:45 on the clock in the first half of action. That would spark a wake-up by Oklahoma State, which then generated a 10-2 rally that drew it to a one-point margin at 13-12 Trojans with 10:45 to go. A bucket from Kiki Alofaituli and a slick take to the hoop from Vaioletama helped get USC back in business, though, giving the Women of Troy enough room to hold off the Cowgirls for the next stretch. OSU cut it down to two with 6:05 to go, only to see Courtney Jaco knock down a three to nudge USC ahead 25-20 at 5:40. A Oklahoma State 3-pointer nailed a three to sneak within two, prompting a frenzied back-and-forth battle in the next two minutes as the Trojans worked to preserve their advantage while teams traded turnovers. A pair of free throws from Kaneisha Horn got USC ahead 29-25 with a minute to go, and another Trojan takeaway helped feed a fast break score from McKenzie Calvert in the final minute to bump USC out to a 31-25 lead by halftime.
USC got a sharp start out of the gates in the second half, getting scores from the hands of three different Trojans to shove out to a 38-27 lead barely two minutes into the half. A few Trojan misses on the offensive end opened the door for the Cowgirls, who crept back within striking distance with a 6-0 scoring run to make it 39-35 USC at 14:40. OSU would continue to capitalize on USC's scoring slump, however. USC failed to come up with a bucket for four minutes while the Cowgirls generated a rally into the lead. An 11-0 OSU surge crafted a 48-42 deficit for the Trojans to find a way to dig out of with 9:55 left to play. A successful trip to the stripe by Barrett snapped the drought, but the Cowgirls were able to build back that six-point lead in the next few minutes and were up 57-50 entering the final five minutes of regulation. Still trailing by seven with three minutes left, USC freshman McKenzie Calvert knocked down her first 3-pointer of the day. USC stepped up into a press, getting a Barrett steal and a finish from Jaco to drag the Trojans within two, down 59-57 with 2:25 on the clock. An OSU 3-pointer ratcheted up the pressure with a five-point deficit now to work with entering the final minute of regulation. But just as the minute-mark hit, Vaioletama drained a clutch three, making it a two-point game again, down 64-62 with 59 ticks to go. A mad scramble to the finish line finally saw Barrett send to the free-throw line with 16.8 seconds on the clock. Both tries would rim out, and OSU got the security basket at the other end to wrap up the frenzied finish as a 66-62 Oklahoma State victory.
USC now takes a few days off for a holiday rest before kicking off Pac-12 action just before year's end. The Women of Troy set up to host rival UCLA on Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. in a doubleheader day at Galen Center. The USC men will host Vermont at 8:30 p.m. that same night, with admission to both games included in any single ticket.
ASSOCIATED PRESS RECAP:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Liz Donohoe scored 21 points, Roshunda Johnson added 17 more and No. 19 Oklahoma State rallied in the second half to beat Southern California 66-62 on Sunday.
Oklahoma State (9-1) improved to 76-1 against nonconference opponents over the last eight seasons with the comeback victory. USC (8-3) led the entire way until the 11:58 mark of the second half, when Donohoe and Johnson keyed a 13-0 Cowgirls run that put them in front for good.
Donohoe shot 7 of 9 from the floor and had eight rebounds while Johnson shot 8 of 16 and had five assists for OSU, which won its seventh straight.
Alexyz Vaioletama scored 20 to lead the Trojans, who saw their three-game win streak snapped in their final nonconference game. Brianna Barrett added 11 points but missed two free throws with a chance to tie with 16.8 seconds left.
USC opened the game with an 11-2 run and held off multiple OSU surges to take a 31-25 lead into halftime, but OSU kept chipping away and pulled into its first tie when Donohoe nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 42-42 with 11:58 to play.
Johnson followed with a jumper from the free throw line to give the Cowgirls their first lead of the game at the 11:36 mark, sank another basket to extend the lead and then Donohoe hit a short jumper to cap a 13-0 run and give OSU a 48-42 lead with nine minutes to play.
USC staged a rally of its own and cut the Cowgirls lead to 64-62 and Barrett stepped to the free throw line for two shots and a chance to tie it with 16.8 seconds to play. She missed both, and OSU's Brittany Atkins came down with the rebound to set up a fastbreak layup by LaShawn Jones to essentially end it.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls improved to 3-1 all-time against USC . They won despite 19 turnovers . Donohoe, Atkins and Brittney Martin each had eight rebounds.
USC: The Trojans shot just 3 of 11 from 3-point range . They were outrebounded 37-27 . This was USC's first home loss of the season.
Oklahoma State hosts Northwestern State on Dec. 29.
USC hosts UCLA on Dec. 30.
OKLAHOMA STATE 66, USC 62
Oklahoma State................ 25 41 - 66
3-point goals--Oklahoma State 5-10 (Donohoe, Liz 3-5; Atkins, Brittany 1-2; Johnson, Roshunda 1-3), USC 3-11 (Calvert, McKenzie 1-3; Jaco, Courtney 1-3; Vaioletama, Alexyz 1-4; Adams, Jordan 0-1).