USC's transfer from Seton Hall, Danielle Golay, was impressive early and late, leading the Trojan women's basketball team to a 71-53 victory over Baylor on Sunday before 563 at the Sports Arena.
Golay made three field goals in the first four minutes. Then late in the second half, after her team's 24-point lead had been reduced to 13, she came to the rescue.
At that point, with 2:20 to go, the 6-foot-1 senior forward made a 16-foot baseline jump shot and scored on a putback with 1:27 left and Trojan Coach Chris Gobrecht could rest easy.
Golay transferred from Seton Hall over a year ago and sat out last season. When she called Gobrecht and said she wanted to move to USC, Gobrecht knew the name.
Two seasons ago, in a doubleheader at UCLA, Golay scored 30 points against USC.
Sunday, she paced USC's second consecutive victory with 19 points in 33 minutes, including nine-for-12 shooting from the floor.
Sunday's game seemed to be over at halftime, when USC had a 39-26 lead. The Trojans finished the first half with a 15-4 run.
Gobrecht, off to her best start (5-2) in her three USC seasons, said she liked everything but a 10-minute stretch in the second half when Baylor pinned a 13-3 run on her team. "When we keep our energy level up, when we play at a fast tempo, we're pretty good," she said. "But when we go flat like we did in the second half--it just shows we have quite a ways to go."
Erica Mashia, out the past three seasons because of serious hip and knee injuries, played her first game at point guard and results were mixed.
She had two turnovers in the first minute, six at the half, seven for the game.
"She wanted to try the point and she struggled," Gobrecht said.
"She pushes the ball upcourt well, but she was tentative at times. But remember, she's gone three years without playing."
USC had season-high point totals from Golay plus Tashara Carter and Tiffany Elmore, who had 14 points each.