USC Women Win Fourth Straight, Top Fresno State 82-78|
Dec. 29, 2010
FRESNO, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team got a career-high 27 points from Jacki Gemelos as the Trojans locked down their fourth straight win as Pac-10 play approaches. USC fended off a late push from host Fresno State to come from behind and post an 82-78 win over the Bulldogs on Wednesday night in Fresno. Now 8-3 overall, the Women of Troy hold their best nonconference winning percentage entering conference play since the 1994-95 season. Fresno State is now 8-5 overall.
USC finished out the game shooting 51 percent from the floor, charged up by an 11-of-14 outing from Gemelos - including a 5-of-7 effort from 3-point range. Gemelos wound up with three other Trojans in double figures alongside her 27 points. Ashley Corral hit double figures for the 10th straight game in getting to 12 on the night, along with 15 points from Briana Gilbreath and 14 from Cassie Harberts. USC's free-throw efforts also helped keep the Trojans a step ahead, with USC going 14-of-17 from the line, while Fresno State finished 9-of-15. The Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the floor and also had four players in double figures.
Gemelos' hot-handed night was much needed by the Trojans, as USC had to counter a dangerous Jaleesa Ross, who buried seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 29 points for the Bulldogs. Thanks in large part to Ross' hot streak, USC slipped behind 11-2 early in the game. Ross notched her third 3-pointer in the first six minutes of play, but the Trojans managed a 14-3 run from there to grab its first lead at the 10:45 mark of the first half.
USC would lead 38-34 at halftime, and got that advantage to grow to nine points during the early stages of the second half, only to see Fresno State battle back to take a lead near the 10-minute mark. USC stole the lead for good with 9:10 to go on a score from Gemelos, but the path to victory was far from smooth. The Bulldogs clawed to make it a two-point USC lead with 30 seconds left, until Ashley Corral and Christina Marinacci iced late free throws to secure the win.
USC now shoves off for Washington to ring in the new year with the Trojans' Pac-10 openers. USC will first visit Washington State for a 1 p.m. game on Friday (Dec. 31) before heading to Seattle to face Washington at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 2).