Trojans Spoil Huskies Rally To Pull Off Late Escape
March 1, 2012
SEATTLE -Once again, the Huskies had Southern California on the ropes. Only this time an upset was not in the cards.
Jazmine Davis led all scorers with 18 points, but it wasn't enough for the Huskies, who fell 62-55 to the Trojans at Alaska Airlines Arena on Thursday evening.
Facing a team likely bound for the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies were in prime position to sweep the Trojans for the first time since the 2003 season. Holding a one-point lead with 3:38 to go, the Huskies made just one more basket the rest of the way, and watched as the Trojans' defense and rebounding ensured a series split. Briana Gilbreath made two free throws with 1:24 remaining to give USC the lead for good, and then extended the advantage with a tough jumper with 52 seconds to go. Gilbreath finished with 15 points and six rebounds, along with four assists and three steals.
Christina Marinacci led USC with 19 points and 12 rebounds, a big part of the reason the Trojans owned a 38-33 advantage on the glass.
Washington fell to 15-12, 7-10 in the Pac-12 Conference. That means the Huskies are currently in eighth place after Utah beat Oregon State in overtime, and would face Oregon in the league tournament next week. But the Dawgs still have one more game left in the regular season, at home against UCLA on Saturday afternoon. For Washington to win, it needs to avoid the type of slow starts like what happened against the Trojans (17-11, 11-6).
Trailing 34-25 at the half, the Huskies took the advice of Coach Kevin McGuff and committed to being tougher on the ball. Davis took over on offense, making strong moves to the basket and hitting contested jumpers from the elbow, despite the defensive attention from Gilbreath. Rogers also found her footing after a slow start, finishing with 11 points despite constant foul trouble.
The Huskies held USC to just 32 percent shooting, and nearly erased star guard Ashley Corral from the stat sheet, limiting the senior markswoman to just nine points, four coming on free throws late in the game.
Where USC won the game was in forcing 19 turnovers from the Huskies, including a flurry late in the game. The Trojans also pulled down 17 offensive rebounds, as foul trouble tempered Washington's aggressiveness on the glass.
Still, the Huskies had their opportunities. Mollie Williams missed two free throws with 1:10 left that would have given UW the lead. And a turnover from Aminah Williams spoiled the Huskies another comeback attempt in the game's waning seconds.