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USC remains in hunt for a bid

PAC 10 WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

March 04, 2007|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

SAN JOSE — USC boosted its hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament Saturday night by holding off Washington, 81-77, in the quarterfinals of the Pacific 10 Conference women's basketball tournament.

On a day when form mostly prevailed at HP Pavilion -- higher-seeded teams taking out their lower-seeded opponents -- the fifth-seeded Trojans made 53.4% of their shots against the fourth-seeded Huskies and improved to 17-12.

A victory today against top-seeded and seventh-ranked Stanford almost surely would put the Trojans over the top, but they may have already done enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, which will include first- and second-round games in the Galen Center on March 17 and 19.

"I think they've got to take a look at us," USC Coach Mark Trakh said of the NCAA tournament selection committee. "Hopefully, we'll get some consideration, but we've got to go out and play well against the Cardinal, which is a great team."

Five players scored in double figures for USC, led by Shay Murphy and Chloe Kerr with 14 points each. Murphy also had a game-high 11 rebounds. Jamie Funn scored 13 points, Nadia Parker 12 and Jamie Hagiya 11 for the Trojans.

Cameo Hicks led Washington (18-12) with 18 points.

No. 9 Arizona State 74, UCLA 64 -- Briann January scored 18 points and the second-seeded Sun Devils (27-3) made 26 of 28 free throws in ending the seventh-seeded Bruins' faint hopes of repeating as tournament champions.

Noelle Quinn led UCLA (14-18) with 25 points and six assists in her last college game, but the three-time all-conference guard missed 17 of 26 shots.

"I'll take that," Arizona State Coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "She's a great player, and we obviously wanted to make her work."

No. 7 Stanford 65, Arizona 55 -- Candice Wiggins scored 16 points and Pac-10 freshman of the year Jayne Appel had 18 points and 13 rebounds to power the Cardinal (26-4) over the ninth-seeded Wildcats (11-21).

No. 25 California 63, Oregon 51 -- Conference player of the year Devanei Hampton had 21 points and nine rebounds and Natasha Vital scored 16 points to lead the third-seeded Golden Bears (23-7) past the sixth-seeded Ducks (16-13).

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jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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