USC Women Put Up A Fight But Fall To Top-Seeded Oregon State In Pac-12 Quarterfinals

    USC went up against the tournament's top seeds in the Pac-12 quarterfinals in Seattle.
    March 4, 2016

    Box Score

    POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

    SEATTLE, WASH. -- The USC women's basketball team heaped piles of pressure on top-seeded Oregon State in tonight's Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal clash. However, every time the Trojans managed to whittle down the Beavers' lead, OSU would fire off a timely 3-pointer to keep USC at bay. OSU nailed nine 3-pointers in the game and wound up just out of reach of the Trojans in a 63-53 victory that puts USC at 19-13 overall on the year. OSU improved to 26-4 with the win tonight at KeyArena in Seattle.

    USC overcame a 12-point deficit with a late rally in the first half as the Trojans trimmed the score down to a three-point game in the final minute of the first half. By the buzzer, OSU's lead was at 36-31, and the Beavers were shooting a balmy 64 percent from the floor while nailing four 3-pointers in the half. USC was hitting at 47 percent to help keep USC within reach on the way into the second half of action. Both teams cooled off overall in the second half, although the Beavers still managed to drain five more threes. USC finished out the game shooting 38 percent from the floor to OSU's powerful 53 percent, and the Beavers also won out on the boards 40-25. USC's defense forced a whopping 21 turnovers out of the top seeds, but the Beavers' offensive firepower won the day.

    USC was led by Sadie Edwards' 20 points, as the sophomore kept providing a spark for the Trojans on the offensive end. Temi Fagbenle provided another double-digit effort -- her 24th time in double digits as a Trojan -- with 10 points in what may be the senior and USC's final game of the year. Fagbenle paced the Trojans in almost every statistical category in 2015-16, leading USC with 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game to go along with 39 blocks and 56 steals in her only season with the program. Fellow senior Brianna Barrett appeared in 16 games this season and finished out her USC career as USC's No. 8 all-time assists provider with 395 in her Trojan career to go with 186 steals.

     

     

    Oregon State was paced by a productive 20 points from Jamie Weisner and 17 apiece from Ruth Hamblin and Sydney Wiese. Weisner and Hamblin also finished with double-doubles in gathering 10 and 12 rebounds, respectively.

    Kristen Simon and Sadie Edwards were USC's offensive suppliers for the first seven minutes of action before Temi Fagbenle and Courtney Jaco broke through with buckets to aid the Trojan cause. OSU was in a groove on its offensive end, nailing a trio of threes that kept the Beavers building some space on USC. Jaco's runner was the last score of the frame, and brought USC within 10, down 22-12 by the buzzer. The Trojans would carve down the Beaver advantage to six points, down 26-20 after a Khaedin Taito steal and a Jaco finish at 6:50. But OSU would fire off another 3-pointer to spark another 6-0 surge to maneuver back to a double-digit lead. The Trojans were undeterred, though. USC would manufacture an 8-0 scoring rally sparked by a Simon score off a feed from Alexis Lloyd. Aliyah Mazyck followed with the Trojans' first 3-pointer of the game and then Edwards finished off a three-point play to nudge USC within three, down 34-31 in the final minute of the half. OSU would take a trip to the line to finish out the half, converting and gripping a 36-31 lead on the Trojans at halftime.

    Edwards would force the issue with an early bucket for the Trojans, but OSU had a quick and decisive answer as Jamie Weisner stayed perfect from the floor, dealing out two more 3-pointers and another score to put USC behind 44-33 with 6:55 on the clock. Still, USC stayed the course. USC would finish out the frame with a 9-3 run to cut the deficit down to 51-44. Mazyck's second 3-pointer of the night was a big lift before the close of the quarter, as it followed Edwards' 15th points of the game to get the Trojans some momentum entering the final 10 minutes. Courtney Jaco's first 3-pointer of the game -- her 72nd of the season to rank her No. 2 all-time in single-season threes -- had USC within five, down 53-48 two minutes into the fourth. The Beavers, however, stayed try to form and drilled another back-breaking 3-pointer next. Undeterred again, USC's Edwards came up in the clutch once more. She'd deliver five straight points for the Trojans to make it 58-53 with 3:20 to go, only to see Oregon State knock down its ninth 3-pointer of the night to build a 61-53 lead. The Beavers would hold off the Trojans the rest of the way, and USC was left with a valiant but frustrating 63-53 loss to the tournament's top seeds.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS RECAP

    SEATTLE (AP) - Jamie Weisner scored 20 points and Ruth Hamblin and Sydney Wiese added 17 apiece to lead eighth-ranked Oregon State to a 63-53 victory over USC on Friday night in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals.

    The Beavers (26-4) advance to Saturday's semifinals against the winner of Washington (21-9) and No. 11 Stanford (24-6).

    Hamblin, a 6-6 senior center, scored on a half hook from the lane to put Oregon State up 58-48 with 5:37 remaining. Sophomore guard Sadie Edwards, a transfer from Connecticut, answered with five straight points to pull the Trojans within 58-53 with 3:20 left.

    Wiese's 3-pointer with 2:48 remaining put Oregon State up 61-53.

    Edwards had 20 points for the Trojans (19-13) and Temi Fagbenle added 10.

    Oregon State was never able to put the Trojans away, despite shooting 53 percent compared with 38 percent for USC and a 40-25 rebound advantage. Hamblin pulled down 12 rebounds and Weisner added 10.

    Edwards scored on a drive to open the third quarter to cut the lead to 36-33. Weisner responded with eight consecutive points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to put the Beavers up 44-33.

    Wiese hit a 3-pointer from the top to make it 51-39 with 3:30 left in the third quarter, but again the Beavers went cold at the end of the period. Edwards scored on a drive and Aliyah Mazyck added a 3-pointer to pull the Trojans within 51-44 entering the fourth quarter.

    Oregon State jumped out early, hitting 8 of its first 9 shots. Sydney up 18-6.

    TIP-INS

    USC: The Trojans lost to Oregon State for the first time in four tournament meetings. Fagbenle scored in double figures for the 24th time this season.

    Oregon State: The Beavers have won 16 of their last 17. The lone defeat was 76-54 on Feb. 26 in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

    UP NEXT

    USC awaits a possible post-season bid.

    Oregon State plays either Washington or No. 11 Stanford on Saturday in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals