Women of Troy Own Overtime, Finishing Out A 78-67 Win Over West Virginia|
Nov. 23, 2015
SPOKANE, WASH. — The USC women’s basketball team showed its grit tonight, making a powerful stand in overtime after West Virginia had fought back to tie the game in regulation. The Women of Troy dominated overtime in scoring 11 straight points to put the Mountaineers out of reach and eventually wrap up a 78-67 OT victory in Spokane, Wash. The win improves USC to 4-0 on the year, marking the first 4-0 start to a season since 1993-94.
Playing in their second game of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, the Trojans were faced with their first truly tight contest of the year. After winning its first three games by at least 30-point margins, USC was put to the test tonight as West Virginia dug out of a 10-point hole in the third quarter to lead the game 52-49 entering the fourth.
The teams endured 14 lead changes and 11 ties, snarled up for the 11th time in the final minute of regulation. That’s when the Mountaineers answered three straight missed free throws by the Trojans with a score in the paint that locked up the game at 64-64. That would hold through the buzzer, taking the game to overtime.
USC’s missed opportunities in regulation were quickly forgotten. USC would go 7-of-6 from the free-throw line in OT to go along with some big buckets from the floor. Kristen Simon scored seven of her final 13 points during overtime, while Brianna Barrett was a perfect 4-for-4 from the stripe. The biggest basket of the final five minutes came from the hot hands of Courtney Jaco, who drained her sixth 3-pointer of the night to set a new career high for herself while boosting the Trojans ahead 69-64 with 3:06 on the clock. USC would keep coming, stymying the Mountaineers on the defensive end while converting when it counted on offense. West Virginia would manage only one lone score from the floor in OT, converting a three-point play with 31 seconds left to make it 75-67. USC would finish it off from the line, wrapping up a powerful performance with a 78-67 final victory.
USC finished out the game shooting 37 percent from the floor, and was 20-of-29 from the free-throw line. USC won out on the boards with 48 to WVU’s 41. The Mountaineers shot 42 percent from the floor but spent much less time at the stripe, going 4-of-8 from the free-throw line in the game.
USC’s individual efforts were highlighted by Temi Fagbenle’s first career double-double as a Trojan. She’d set her USC career highs tonight with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Courtney Jaco matched Fagbenle with 20 points as well, also notching a new career high for herself. Each of her six 3-pointers came at opportune moments, breathing crucial life into the USC offensive attack. USC also had Brianna Barrett hit double digits with 14 points in the game, as she went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Kristen Simon also added 13 points to go along with eight rebounds. Her dedication to the boards paid off late in the game, too, as she’d get the ball back in USC hands on two important occasions late in the game.
West Virginia was powered up by a game-high 27 points from Bria Holmes, along with 12 from Katrina Pardee.
USC now turns to face host Gonzaga at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 24) in the Trojans final game of this Spokane stint in the Naismith Hall of Fame Challenge. Next week, USC heads to Connecticut to finish out the event with a matchup against Iona at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Nov. 29.
2015 Naismith Hall of Fame Women's Challenge
West Virginia................. 16 13 23 12 3 - 67
3-point goals--West Virginia 7-14 (Holmes, Bria 3-5; Pardee, Katrina 3-5; Muldrow, Teana 1-1; Martin, Tynice 0-2; Roberson, Arielle 0-1), USC 6-15 (Jaco, Courtney 6-10; Barrett, Brianna 0-1; Taito, Khaedin 0-1; Adams, Jordan 0-2; Mazyck, Aliyah 0-1).