USC Women Come Up Short At Cal|
Feb. 5, 2017
BERKELEY, CALIF. — The USC women’s basketball team forced 13 ties and fought through 12 lead changes, but it was host California that made the final rally when it counted. The Bears turned the game’s 13th tie into an 8-0 run and held on in the final stretch to post a 63-56 win over the Trojans today in Berkeley. USC goes to 12-11, 3-9 with the road loss, while Cal improves to 17-7, 5-7.
Cal was shooting at a 54-percent clip in the first half to USC’s 39 percent as the lead traded hands six times in those first 20 minutes of action. Junior Kristen Simon had accounted for 13 of USC’s 25 first-half points to help the Trojans keep largely in stride with the Golden Bears, who led it 28-25 at the break. The teams would pull even seven times in second half before Cal managed an 8-0 run to steal into the lead for good. The Bears wrapped the game shooting 50 percent from the floor and outrebounding the Trojans 35-25. USC shot 41 percent in the losing effort.
USC was led by Kristen Simon’s 24 points and nine rebounds as she finished as the only Trojan in double figures. Cal had four players hit double digits, with 17 from Penina Davidson, 14 from Asha Thomas and 10 apiece from Kristine Anigwe and Mikayla Cowling. Davidson and Anigwe each had nine rebounds for the Bears.
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the first half. Cal struck first, but USC fired off a 6-0 surge to grab a 6-4 lead. Again the Bears pieced together back-to-back buckets, only to see USC senior Courtney Jaco land a trademark 3-pointer to snag a 9-8 USC advantage at 5:00 in the first. Two more tie-ups would ensue, with Minyon Moore breaking the first and then Simon answering a Cal 3-pointer for the lead with a single free throw that locked it up 13-13 at the buzzer. In the second, Simon scored the first eight points for the Trojan cause as the lead continued to shift directions. Freshman Ja’Tavia Tapley landed a 3-pointer that snarled the game at 24-24 with 3:05 to go until halftime, and a Tapley free throw hit a free throw for a slim lead, but Cal managed the last four points of the half to take a 28-25 lead into the locker rooms at the break.
Seven more lockups would ensue in the second half of action. A 3-pointer from Sadie Edwards got USC to a 51-49 lead at 5:20 in the fourth, and the seventh tie of the game would come a couple minutes later when Simon equalized things at 53-53. Cal would get two clutch makes next, however, and finished off the second and-one opportunity to go up 58-53 with 2:27 to go. Neither team would hit a bucket from the floor the rest of the way, while Cal benefited from trips to the stripe to make it an 8-0 run to a 61-53 lead with 20 seconds left. Jaco would drain three free throws after getting fouled on try from beyond the arc to make it a two-score game at 61-56 , but Cal closed things out with one last set of tosses to wrap a 63-56 victory for the Bears.
USC’s next action takes the Trojans back on the road for a trip through Oregon. USC plays at Oregon State in an 8 p.m. game on Friday (Feb. 10) before heading to Eugene to face Oregon at 11 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 12).
CALIFORNIA 63, USC 56