USC Women Blast The Buffs 81-61 In Boulder|
Jan. 9, 2015
BOULDER, COLO. -- The USC women's basketball team dug in and rallied for an impressive road win tonight, topping host Colorado with a powerful push to the finish line for an 81-61 victory in Boulder. USC never trailed in the game, but the Buffs did force the issue in trimming the lead to nine during the second half of play. That prompted a gut check for the Women of Troy, who responded and finished to grab the conference win. USC improves to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play, while Colorado moves to 7-7, 0-3.
USC muscled out to an early lead on the Buffs and ballooned its advantage out to a 19-point margin entering the final minute of the first half. The Buffs would find a late spark to nudge the score to a 40-27 Trojan lead at the break, as the teams finished out the first 20 minutes of play near-even on the scoring front. USC was shooting 43 percent in the first half, and Colorado was at 42 percent, but the Trojans had help from a pair of 3-pointers as well as 14 points generated off Colorado turnovers. The Buffs would trim USC's lead down to nine points midway through the second half, but the Women of Troy dug back in. USC's winning rally came on some stubborn play and in forcing its way to the free-throw line. By the final buzzer, USC had gone 23-of-31 from the stripe, including a 17-of-22 effort in the second half. Colorado finished ahead from the floor in shooting 44 percent overall to USC's 43 percent, and the Buffs led on the boards 41-36. USC's stingy defense also drummed up 21 Colorado turnovers, generating 22 points for the Trojan cause.
USC was led by a game-high tag team effort of 20 points apiece from senior Alexyz Vaioletama and freshman McKenzie Calvert. Brianna Barrett also joined in with double figures, providing 17 points for the Trojans. Colorado also had three players finish in double digits. Jamee Swan led with 14, with Lauren Huggins netting 13 and Jasmine Sborov adding 10.
The Buffs had an answer for USC's first two buckets of the game, but the Trojans quickly stretched out ahead on a series of defensive stops and then finishes at the other end to craft a 12-4 lead by 15:30 thanks to an 8-0 USC rally. The Buffs would come up empty for 2:30 before getting one to fall, only to see Jordan Adams nab the steal and take home the fast break to bump USC ahead 20-8 at 11:55. Minutes later, Courtney Jaco would break her scoring silence with a 3-point blast that took the Trojans to a 27-12 advantage with 7:20 remaining in the half. Another pretty jumper from Alexyz Vaioletama ballooned the USC lead out to 31-14 at 5:30, but the Buffs would finally muster up a scoring run of their own, plugging in three straight scores to bring it to 31-20 just a minute and a half later. Brianna Barrett responded with her first score from the floor -- dumping in a 3-pointer at 3:35 to make it a 34-20 USC lead. The Trojans pieced together a 6-0 run soon after to go ahead 40-21 entering the final minute, where Colorado managed the last six points of the half to wrap its as a 40-27 USC lead at the break.
Colorado cropped closer still with a determined start to the second half, cutting the margin down to nine on the Buffs' first 3-pointer of the game. With the score at 56-47 USC with 12:00 on the clock, the Trojans jumped back into action. Vaioletama converted a three-point play next, and after a defensive stop it was Barrett with the score to lift USC ahead 61-47 a minute later. USC was able to preserve that gap and package up a 67-52 lead with 6:45 to go. With 3:30 left to play, USC gripped a 73-58 advantage until Vaioletama dumped in a pair of free throws to all but zip things up for the Trojan cause. Free throws would continue to fall for USC down the stretch as the Women of Troy had the Buffs in a 79-61 hole entering the final minute of action in Boulder. One last takeaway by Jaco and the feed to McKenzie Calvert sealed the deal on an 81-61 final for the Trojans.
USC now heads over to Salt Lake City to continue its Pac-12 road journey. The Trojans are set to face the Utes at 12 p.m. MT on Sunday (Jan. 11).
USC 81, COLORADO 61
USC........................... 40 41 - 81
3-point goals--USC 4-8 (Jaco, Courtney 2-3; Barrett, Brianna 1-2; Calvert, McKenzie 1-2; Adams, Jordan 0-1), Colorado 1-6 (Huggins, Lauren 1-2; Smith, Haley 0-1; Kresl, Lexy 0-2; Hartmann, Alina 0-1).