The USC women's basketball team, behind a game-high 22 points by center Monica Lamb and 20 points by forward Cherie Nelson, defeated Washington, 91-67, Thursday night at the Campus Gym to take control of the Pacific 10 race.
A win Saturday night against last-place Washington State will give the Trojans (20-7 overall, 14-3 in the Pac-10) the conference title.
"Some of our best basketball was played tonight, and we had a player finally come into her game," USC Coach Linda Sharp said. "That was Karon Howell. I thought Karon Howell played very well, offensively and defensively. She was really struggling at times this year, so this was nice for her."
Howell, a sophomore guard, made 8 of 9 shots from the floor to finish with 16 points while senior guard Rhonda Windham had 14. As a team, the Trojans shot 58.9% from the field.
Lisa Raschkow scored a team-high 14 for Washington (21-6, 13-4). Yvette Cole added 13, Jacki Myers 11 and Lisa Oriard 10.
UCLA 81, Washington State 56--The Bruins' Jaime Brown scored 16 points in the Pac-10 game at the John Wooden Center. The Bruins (18-9, 11-6) broke open the game with a 13-0 run at the beginning of the second half.
The Cougars (10-17, 2-15) were led by Jonni Gray's 16 points. Dana Childs had 14 points and Dora Dome 13 for UCLA, which outrebounded Washington State, 47-23.
CS Long Beach 123, Pacific 65--Cindy Brown scored 37 points, and Penny Toler added 29 for the 49ers in their first-round Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. tournament game at Long Beach.
Brown, a senior center, made 14 of 22 shots and 9 of 11 free throws. Toler, a sophomore point guard, made 13 of 19 shots.
Julie Szukalski had 23 points for Pacific (12-16).
Long Beach (28-2) will play San Diego State in the semifinals at 4 p.m today at the Forum.