March 4, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Eshaya Murphy scored 21 points in leading USC to a 70-67 victory over Washington in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament on Saturday night.
Camille LeNoir added 17 points for the Women of Troy (18-10), who advanced to their second straight semifinal. USC meets top-seeded Stanford on Sunday. USC lost to the Cardinal 73-69 in last year's semifinal.
Jamie Hagiya hit one of two free throws with five seconds left for the final margin. Nadia Parker had 10 points.
The teams split their regular-season meetings with each winning on the road.
The Huskies lost their last two regular-season games by 31 points to Stanford and 23 points to California, their worst losses of the season.
The Women of Troy led by as many as 15 in the opening minutes of the second half but Washington closed to within 55-53 when Hicks hit a putback with 6:08 remaining to play.
Hagiya and Murphy each hit key 3-pointers over the next 1:30 kept USC in front by six points, a lead the Women of Troy carried into the final minute.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm early, though the Women of Troy held the lead most of the way.
Hicks scored 18 points to keep Washington close most of the first half. She made six of 12 shots while the rest of her Huskies teammates missed 23 of 24 shots.
Washington's 19.4 percent field goal percentage in the first half was its worst since its first game of the season against Alabama when the Huskies also shot 19.4 percent in the second half.
USC put a run together, getting a pair of 3-pointers from LeNoir, and eventually built a 32-20 halftime lead.