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USC women cut down No. 2 Stanford, 73-72

January 07, 2008|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

For the second time in three days, the No. 2-ranked women's team in the nation was the second-best team on a Los Angeles basketball court.

USC took its turn upsetting Stanford on Sunday, defeating the Cardinal, 73-72, at the Galen Center in a Pacific 10 Conference victory that duplicated UCLA's feat on Friday.

Saying she had never jumped so high in her life, the Trojans' Camille LeNoir made a 12-foot jump shot over Candice Wiggins with eight seconds remaining, and then Wiggins' airball from 17 feet as time expired sealed USC's first victory over a top-25 opponent this season. The Trojans (9-6, 2-2) had lost three other games against ranked opponents by a combined 10 points, including two in a row. Stanford fell to 12-3, 2-2.

"Stanford is the benchmark for all of us, and that's why this win means a lot," USC Coach Mark Trakh said. "If we wanted any kind of NCAA consideration at the end of the year . . . we needed a quality win in conference."

LeNoir, a junior point guard, scored 21 points while going five for seven on three-point shots, often against Wiggins, one of the nation's best players. The victory broke a 10-game USC losing streak to Stanford and was especially impressive given USC's 57-52 loss to No. 10 California on Friday. LeNoir had remarked afterward about her team's lack of heart, a notion Trakh disputed.

There was no dispute Sunday.

"We literally left everything out there on the floor," LeNoir said. "People hit the wall but pushed through, that's what it takes to beat teams in the top 10."

USC was outrebounded, 38-23, but got a big one from Heather Oliver when LeNoir missed on a drive with 14 seconds left. Oliver scored 13, and Nadia Parker 12. Parker's basket inside with 69 seconds left tied the score, at 71-71.

Sophomore Jayne Appel, a 6-foot-4 sophomore whose free throw with 38 seconds left gave Stanford the lead, scored 22 with 11 rebounds. Wiggins scored 17. The Cardinal made only three of 20 three-point shots.

martin.henderson@latimes.com

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