Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
USC Gets Past Women?s Basketball, 77-68
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 19, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Tucson, Ariz. ?- USC overcame an 11-point second half deficit using a 15-4 scoring run in the final 4:23 to pull away for a 77-68 win over Arizona on Thursday night in McKale Center.  The loss drops the Wildcats to 7-13 overall and 1-7 in the Pac-10, as the Women of Troy notch their fifth-straight win to improve to 11-7 and 5-3 in the Pac-10.


Arizona shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the field in the game, including a 20.0 percent (4-20) mark from three point range, and finished with a 16-of-21 mark (76.2 percent) from the free throw line.  USC shot 41.0 percent (25-61) from the field, 32.0 percent (8-25) from behind the arc, and 73.1 percent (19-26) from the charity stripe.


“This was a game that we should have won,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said.  “We played good in the first half.  We played good defense and got to the free throw line, but we couldn’t sustain it.  I didn’t like how we put them on the line early in the second half.  We had moments of being very good, but we need to put a whole 40 minute game together.”


Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth led four players in double-figures with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, to go with five rebounds and three steals.  Sophomore Amina Njonkou posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Junior Jessica Arnold added 11 points, and junior Ashley Whisonant finished with 10 points and six assists.


USC senior guard Shay Murphy posted a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds, 25 points coming in the second half, as she shot 6-of-17 from the field, but 14-of-15 from the free throw line in the second half alone.  Murphy scored 13 of USC’s final 15 points in the game.  Senior guard Jamie Hagiya added 14 points and four assists.


After trailing 7-5 at the 16:55 mark in the first half, the Wildcats put together a 10-0 scoring run over the next 3:54 to take a 15-7 lead on a three-point play by freshman Rhaya Neabors.  Arizona held USC scoreless for 6:27 in the first half, until a three by Hagiya cut the UA lead to 16-10 at the 10:28 mark.


USC responded with a 14-2 run to take a 21-17 lead at the 6:15 mark.  Arizona countered with a 9-1 run to end the half, capped by a Njonkou jumper as time expired, and went into halftime up 34-26.  Arizona shot 38.7 percent (12-31) from the field in the first half, while holding USC to a 34.5 percent mark (10-29).


Arizona opened up a 42-31 lead in the second half with 16:26 left in the game on a three-point play by Arnold.  USC then came back with 16-5 run over the next 4:04 to tie the game at 47-47, and went up 57-51 with 9:32 left to play.  Arizona scored seven-straight points for a 58-57 lead on a three by Hollingsworth at the 8:13 mark.


The Wildcats led USC 64-62 with 4:53 left in the game before Murphy went on a tear scoring 13 of USC’s final 15 points in the game, sparking a 15-4 Trojan run to end the game.


UA shot 42.9 percent (12-28) from the field in the second half, as USC shot 46.9 percent (15-32).


Arizona will next host UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 12 p.m. (noon) in McKale Center.  The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net.

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