Women's Basketball's Rally Comes Up Short At USC, 74-64
Dec. 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The San Diego State women's basketball team cut a 15-point halftime deficit down to just four points, but could not get any closer as the Aztecs saw their three-game win streak come to an end with a 74-64 defeat to the host Trojans Sunday in the championship game of the Women of Troy Basketball Tournament at the Galen Center. With the loss, SDSU dropped to 4-5 on the year, while USC, which is a perfect 5-0 on its home court, improved to 7-3 overall.
Aztec senior Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) had a team-high 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting and a 6-for-6 performance at the free-throw line. Classmate Coco Davis (Sacramento, Calif.), who was named to the all-tournament team for the first time in her career, scored in double-figures for the third outing in a row with 16 points and seven assists in playing all 40 minutes. Davis and Johnson finished the weekend by combining for 72 of the team's 138 points in the two outings.
SDSU's third senior, Jessika Bradley (Sacramento, Calif.), had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Johnson added nine to fall just short of her second consecutive double-double. Sophomore Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) and freshman Melissa Sweat (Bakersfield, Calif.) each tallied seven points for the Aztecs, who owned a slight advantage over the Trojans on both the boards (39-36) and shooting from the field (41.4 to 40.3 percent).
USC junior guard Ashley Corral made each of her first five attempts from the field, including three triples, in the first 4:18 alone to give the Trojans a 15-4 lead heading into the first timeout. The Aztecs closed it to single digits at eight points on three occasions, but USC continued to make nearly all its shots coming down the floor, hitting on 16-of-35, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, to go up by as many as 15, including at 42-27 at the half.
SDSU held the Women of Troy without a point for the first three and a half minutes coming out of the locker room to cut the deficit to eight and later got to within six points following a 6-0 run. A 3-pointer by Briana Gilbreath following a long offensive rebound, however, quickly restored the Trojan lead out to nine at 52-43.
The Aztecs trailed by just four on four separate occasions, including at 62-58 with 4:34 left, and had the ball on offense to cut it to a single possession. Instead, USC erupted with an 8-0 run, capped by consecutive triples from Corral and another by Christina Marinacci following a steal to go up by 12 points at 70-58. A late triple by Davis cut the margin to single digits, but the Trojans ended the evening with four more points to the Aztecs' three to garner the 74-64 win.
The Trojans were led by Corral's 23 points and six assists, while tournament MVP Gilbreath had 13 points and eight rebounds in claiming the first meeting between the two sides in 11 years.
After nearly a month away from home, the Aztecs finally return to Viejas Arena this coming Tuesday evening when the Washington State Cougars come to town for a 7 p.m. PT tip-off.