Jan. 8, 1998
USC Falls to Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. -- Freshman forward Brianne Meharry scored 24 points as the Oregon Ducks beat USC 79-65 in their Pacific-10 Conference home-opener on Thursday night.
Meharry played 38 minutes in the game due to the injury to Jenny Mowe. She also picked up a game-high 14 rebounds. Points, minutes, rebounds were all career-highs for Meharry, and she also tied her career-high for free-throws made with six.
USC kept it close in the first half, tieing the score at 27 with over four minutes to go before halftime. But the Ducks outscored the Trojans 15-6 in the final minutes and took a nine- point lead into the locker room.
In the second half, USC cut the lead to seven twice, but Natalie Hughes scored seven of her 18 points in the final six minutes to help the Ducks pull off the win.
"We're always nervous when we get to that seven-point mark where we will either blow them away or let them get back into it," Meharry said. "But we were able to pull it out tonight."
The Trojans were hindered by having only nine players in uniform at the start of the game. Whitney Houser then went down with a bruised back early in the second half and did not return. In addition, Tiffany Washington fouled out with over a minute to go in the game.
USC's Kristin Clark had 12 points in the first half, but went 1-of-7 from the field in the second to finish with 19. Washington also had 19 in the game.
For Oregon, Natalie Hughes scored 18 points including 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Sonja Curtis scored 15 off the bench. Kirsten McKnight started her first game of the season due to the injury to Lisa Bowyer and collected four points.
Oregon won the battle of the boards 38-26, and the Ducks also had seven blocked shots in the game.
Oregon is now 6-5 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-10. USC falls to 6-6 overall and 1- 2 in the conference.