USC Women Come Up Short Of No. 4 Stanford 64-59

    Ariya Crook

    Feb. 21, 2014

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team heaped an enormous amount of pressure on No. 4 Stanford tonight at Galen Center, putting the Pac-12 leaders in a 19-point hole during the first half of play before the Cardinal regrouped and pushed on to victory. Stanford was able to fend off the Women of Troy with a 64-59 decision tonight at Galen Center. USC goes to 16-11 overall and 9-6 in Pac-12 play with the loss, while Stanford improves to 25-2, 14-1.

    USC was hot-handed out of the gates and ferocious on defense as the Trojans were shooting 65 percent from the floor while holding Stanford to just 29 percent as UC built a 31-13 in the first 12 minutes of the game. Stanford would wake up and cut down the lead to a 37-30 USC halftime advantage, however, heating up to 44 percent from the floor in the first half. USC shot 48 percent in the first half to keep the Cardinal at bay, but that effort would not last, unfortunately.

    As Stanford locked down its efforts, USC slumped to 22 percent from the floor in the second half, finishing the game at 36 percent while Stanford wrapped things at 45 percent. That role reversal caused Stanford to catch the Trojans at 43-43 with 11:30 to go in the second half and soon move into a lead that the Cardinal would not relinquish.

    The Trojans were resolute in their efforts to keep close, cutting it to a four-point game with 3:30 remaining and then again in the final minute, only to see Stanford convert from the free-throw line down the stretch to secure the win.

    USC was led by Ariya Crook's 24 points and 12 from Cassie Harberts, while Alexyz Vaioletama hauled in 10 rebounds for the Trojans. Stanford's scoring was topped by Chiney Ogwumike with a game-high 27 points and Bonnie Samuelson's 14 points.

    USC now turns to face another ranked opponent in No. 18 California, which comes to Troy for a 12 p.m. game on Sunday (Feb. 23). That game will mark USC's Senior Celebration, as the Trojans honor their four graduating Women of Troy: Desiree Bradley, Cassie Harberts, Kate Oliver and Rachel Totten.