Vanderbilt Rings Up 74-56 Win Over USC Women
Dec. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team saw another second half go sour as the Trojans took their sixth straight loss in falling 74-56 to visiting Vanderbilt. That wraps up nonconference play for USC, with Pac-12 action kicking off next week with a road trip to the Oregon schools. USC is now 3-8 overall, while Vanderbilt improves to 10-3 in winning its seventh game in a row.
After trailing by as much as eight points in the first half, the Trojans gutted out a nice push into the lead with a 12-2 run that had USC ahead for the first time, up 27-22 in the last five minutes of the half. An Ariya Crook 3-pointer just before the break was another lift for USC, which took a 33-31 lead at halftime. The teams were even at 46 percent from the floor in the first half, and were also matched with three 3-pointers apiece while USC held a 17-13 advantage on the boards.
The second half, however, would not work out as well for the Trojans. The difference down the stretch arguably was Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie, who nailed seven 3-pointers in the game to charge up the Commodores' run to the lead. She'd finish with 28 points, with teammate Tiffany Clarke adding 24. USC was led by Cassie Harberts' 11th straight game in double figures with 22 points, joined in double digits by Ariya Crook with 12.
The USC scoring effort dipped to 33 percent in the second half, while Vanderbilt upped its production to 49 percent in the second half. That wrapped the game with USC at 39 percent from the floor to the Commodores' 47, which included 8-of-16 from 3-point range. USC also was behind on the boards for just the third time this season, down 39-32 thanks in part to Clarke's double-double for Vanderbilt with 11 rebounds.
In the first half, USC's Brianna Barrett was tagged with her third foul on a gutsy take to the hole that could have pulled the Trojans even after being behind by as much as eight. Instead, the freshman guard bounced back and delivered a feed to Christina Marinacci on USC's next trip down the floor, and the Trojans were back within one, down 20-19 with 7:40 on the clock. The offensive-foul-happy officiating crew dealt out a second such foul to Cassie Harberts next, but after another Vandy miss Harberts got herself to the line at the other end and hit the front end to even the score up 20-20 for the first time since the 18:50 mark. A 3-pointer planted by sophomore Alexyz Vaioletama a minute later gave USC its first lead of the game, and the Trojans' confidence was on an upswing as they worked back into the game. The lead would get traded back and forth in the final stretch of the half, but USC had the last word when Ariya Crook nailed a three with just one second left, and the Trojans took a 33-31 lead into the locker room.
After the lead went up for grabs in the early goings of the second half, Vanderbilt would make a rallying run, outscoring USC 14-2 to jump ahead 50-39 with 14:36 on the clock. Christina Foggie dumped in her seventh 3-pointer of the day with 11:31 still to play, and the Commodores were up 58-43 on the Trojans. In the last two minutes, Vanderbilt charged farther ahead, turning an 11-point lead into a 20-point advantage to keep USC on the ropes en route to a final Vanderbilt victory of 74-56.
USC's last six-game losing skid was in the 2000-01 season. The Trojans now turn to Pac-12 play next week. USC will first visit Oregon State on Friday (Jan. 4) for a 7 p.m. game, and then goes to Oregon for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday (Jan. 6).