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SOUTHLAND ROUNDUP

Trojans Let One Get Away, 83-81

January 06, 2003|Mike Terry | From Staff and Wire Reports

USC has had some tough losses this season, but none was more frustrating than Sunday's 83-81 overtime defeat to Washington before 805 at the Sports Arena.

Junior guard Giuliana Mendiola's 10-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds to play did more than erase the sting of Friday night's 26-point loss to UCLA. It gave the Huskies, 10-2 overall, 2-1 in the Pacific 10 Conference, the boost they needed since coming to Los Angeles on Friday without teammate Kayla Burt, who is hospitalized in Seattle with an undisclosed ailment.

"I've never been more pleased with a basketball team," Washington Coach June Daugherty said. "We've been through a very rough 72 hours. These kids found it within themselves to find the courage to compete. [On Friday] we couldn't do that."

The Trojans (6-8, 1-3), ahead of only winless Washington State in the Pac-10, have to figure out a way to put teams away when they build leads.

"We have to go out and play every game hard," said guard Jessica Cheeks, who had eight points and eight assists. "Play defense, be aggressive, and things will work out."

USC, which got 21 points and 12 rebounds from center Ebony Hoffman and 15 points from forward Aisha Hollans, twice led by 12 points.

Yet there were the Huskies, who shot 44.7% from the field (34 of 76) and scored 14 points off 22 Trojan turnovers, with a chance to win in regulation when Andrea Lalum made a three-pointer with 29 seconds left to put the Huskies ahead, 72-70. Fortunately for USC, Hollans made a layup with 7.4 seconds left to force the overtime.

"We've had a lot of games where we dominate statistics but the game gets away from us," USC Coach Chris Gobrecht said. "But I've been coaching long enough to know that if you lose a number of close games like this, it eventually turns around at some point."

-- Mike Terry

UCLA 93, Washington 51 -- Michelle Greco scored 23 points and tied her career high with seven steals to lead the Bruins in front of 1,025 at Pauley Pavilion. It was their fifth consecutive victory.

Greco, a senior guard, made 10 of her 13 shots for the Bruins (9-4, 4-0 Pac-10). Freshman guard Lisa Willis added 15 points and five steals. In all, the Bruins had 25 steals.

UCLA led, 53-20, at halftime and built a 46-point lead several times in the second half. The Bruins scored 46 of their points off Washington State's 33 turnovers.

Bianca McCall led the Cougars (0-11, 0-3) with 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

No. 6 Stanford 91, Pepperdine 58 -- Nicole Powell, an All-American last season who sat out the first nine games this season because of a bulging disk in her back, had 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Cardinal.

Kelley Suminski added 17 points for Stanford (10-1), which won its fifth consecutive game and extended its home winning streak to 18. Shanell Law scored 11 points for the Waves (8-5), who had their three-game winning streak end.

Stanford made 41 of its 48 free throws.

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