USC Women Regroup In OT To Beat Long Beach State 90-85|
Nov. 21, 2014
LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team fought through a wildly tense game and prevailed in overtime tonight in Long Beach. Up against host Long Beach State, the Trojans looked to be in control with a strong halftime lead. But the 49ers clawed back into the game and the Trojans had their work cut out for them to force overtime. Once there, USC kept fighting and finally got the buckets to go when it counted in overcoming a two-point deficit to close out OT with seven straight points for the 90-85 road win. USC improves to 2-1 overall with the win and now turns to the Galen Center, where the Trojans set up for their home opener against Fresno State at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 23).
After Jordan Adams took USC to a one-point lead with 23 seconds left in regulation, Long Beach State got just one free-throw to fall with 11.6 seconds left, and the teams went into overtime locked up 74-74. For the next few minutes, the 49ers and the Trojans matched each other shot for shot, three for three and free throw for free throw in keeping it locked up 81-81. It was still tied up with 1:45 left to play before Long Beach State grabbed its first lead of OT, up 85-83 with 1:35 to go. That's when USC's Jordan Adams kicked into gear. She nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer for the Trojans and then delivered in the lane with a score from under the basket that edged USC ahead 88-85 in the final minute. Another USC defensive stop and defensive board would help set up Brianna Barrett for the sealer, as she nailed both her free throws with just three second left to lock in a 90-85 Trojan win.
USC had led by 13 at halftime thanks to 59-percent shooting form the floor during the first half, outpacing Long Beach State's 25-percent first-half effort. The 49er would warm up in the second half though, to heap pressure on the Trojans, who cooled town to 44 percent in that next 20 minutes. USC would finish out the game at 53 percent to LBSU's 40 percent. The Trojans committed 24 turnovers in the game and were outrebounded 41-40 by the 49ers. USC finished up with four Women of Troy in double digits, led by Alexyz Vaioletama's 19 points. Jordan Adams contributed 15 and Brianna Barrett added 14, with freshman McKenzie Calvert scoring all 13 of her points in the first half. Barrett went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line in the game. Long Beach State was led by Raven Benton's game-high 22 points, with 7-of-9 shooting from the line. Anna Kim was next for the 49ers with 16 points, and Devin Hudson had 13.
USC nabbed the lead out of the gates on a 3-pointer from Courtney Jaco and kept the 49ers at bay in the next stretch. The Trojans forced their way into a double-digit lead thanks to an 8-0 scoring surge all from the hands of freshman McKenzie Calvert. Her back-to-back threes and a runner fed from a Brianna Barrett steal pushed USC to a 20-8 advantage with 11:45 on the clock. The 49ers would chop that down to a five-point margin four minutes later, but USC got another boost from Barrett and Jaco next. A couple free throws from Barrett and another three landed by Jaco took the Trojans back to a double-digit advantage with 6:40 to go in the half. In the last 2:10 of the half, USC padded its lead out to 14 with a 6-0 run on scores from Calvert, Jordan Adams and Kristen Simon. One last 49er free throw wrapped the half as a 47-34 USC advantage.
Long Beach State had the hot hand out of the gates of the second half, dumping in 12 straight points in four minutes to trim USC's lead down to 47-46. Kaneisha Horn would finally stop the run by hitting the back end of her trip to the free-throw line, and USC looked to regroup. Long Beach State took its first lead of the game with a score in the paint, tugging ahead 54-52 at 13:45. The game would sway back and forth for the next four minutes as the lead traded hands. USC finally crafted a run to nudge back into the lead. Barrett sparked it, and after two missed 49er free throws, Simon and Vaioletama punched in buckets to make it a 65-60 USC advantage with 9:00 to go. Five minutes later, though, Long Beach State had worked its way back to the lead once more. A 49er 3-pointer put USC behind 71-70 with 4:00 on the clock and USC was still in a one-point hole with 1:38 to go. Vaioletama would nab the steal on the defensive end to give USC back the ball, and Barrett would work her way to the free-throw line with 1:01 remaining. The first would go, pulling things even at 72-72 entering the final minute of action. The final minute stayed wild. LBSU put one free throw through to nudge ahead, only to see Adams score the go-ahead, missing her and-one opportunity but putting USC up 74-73 with 23 seconds left. With 11.6 on the clock, though, LBSU went back to the line. The first fell and the second wouldn't go, leaving it locked up 74-74 to bring up overtime, where USC fended off the 49ers and fought a winning combination at the close for the win.
USC now heads home to Galen Center to host Fresno State at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 23) for the Trojans' home opener.