Georgia 63, Southern Cal 71
LOS ANGELES (AP)—With the memory of its blowout loss to No. 6 Duke fresh in its mind, Southern Cal was determined not to have it happen again against another ranked team.
Ashley Corral scored 15 points, including two key 3-pointers, during a 12-1 run snapping a 41-41 tie to take control of the game in the second half.
“I think they got some momentum and confidence,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “You have a tendency to play a little looser and with more confidence when you’re ahead.
“They have good shooters.”
The Trojans, playing their third ranked team this season, made 5 of 9 shots behind the arc in the final 20 minutes to improve to 3-1.
After USC led by as many as 11 time in the second half, Georgia pulled with two points three times.
Georgia’s Anne Marie Armstrong made a long 3-pointer to cut USC’s lead to 62-60.
But USC’s Briana Gilbreath answered with a 3-pointer in the corner to keep the Trojans ahead for good.
“I think our players just buckled down,” Cooper said. “They understand what we need to do to become a good team. We have to play defense, you have to play defense for 40 minutes. It was spotty, but when we really needed to play defense we rolled up our sleeves and got after them.”
Georgia committed 12 of its 20 turnovers in the second half and missed seven free throw attempts.
Jacki Gemelos had 14 points for USC and Christina Marinacci had nine points and eight rebounds.
Jasmine James had 17 points and Porsha Philips had 11 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for Georgia (3-1).
Trailing 53-42, Georgia responded with nine straight points to cut USC’s advantage, but couldn’t regain the lead.
The Lady Bulldogs beat their first three opponents by an average of 19.3 points and Georgia outrebounded USC 44-31.
USC vowed not to back down to Georgia after losing at Duke, 75-50 on Nov. 15.
“We came out with a winner’s mentality knowing we could beat Georgia,” Corral said. “We just came into this game way more confident there was a certain look in everybody’s eyes tonight that said we’re going to get it done.”
Georgia led by as many as 11 in the first half when Philips scored on a putback making it 21-10.
From there, the Trojans slowly chipped away at the lead.
With Georgia ahead 27-20, USC scored five straight points to shift the momentum.
The teams were deadlocked 31-31 at halftime after Gemelos hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left before the break.