Jan. 9, 2000
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Washington staged a furious second half rally but it fell short as USC handed the Husky womens basketball team a 77-66 setback in front of 589 fans at the Lyon Center.
Washington, which lost its fifth straight for the first time since the 1979-80 season, drops to 4-10 overall, 0-2 in the Pac-10. USC, coached by former Husky mentor Chris Gobrecht, improves to 7-5, 2-0.
Loree Payne and Megan Franza once again led the Huskies, with 22 and 18 points, respectively. LeAnn Sheets had a game-high 10 rebounds. For USC, Tashara Carter had a career-high 21 points, followed by Danielle Golay with 17 and Tiffany Elmore with 16 points.
After a fairly even opening few minutes, USC used an 11-0 run to build a 22-12 advantage at 12:37 in the first period. A jumper by Husky freshman Kellie O'Neill, playing for the first time since the Seattle Times Classic (Dec. 19) cut the USC lead seven, 26-19, at 9:03. But the Trojans used a 13-2 run to increase the lead to 19 with 5:14 remainaing. They were up by as many as 22 and took a 48-31 lead at the break.
USC scored seven straight and Washington had four turnovers in a row as the USC lead went back up to 22 early in the second half. But then Payne sparked the Huskies as she made back-to-back baskets and a free throw to start chipping away at the deficit. It was Payne again who hit two in a row to cut the lead to 10 points, 67-57, with 7:16 to go. Melissa Erickson, who scored all six of her points in the second half, had her own back-to-back buckets to pull the Huskies within three with 2:15 remaining.
Carter scored seven of her career-high 21 points in the final 1:54 to put the game away.
Washington returns home to host Arizona State (2-0) Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. and Arizona, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. Both games are at Mercer Arena.