Thu Mar 10 04:06pm EST
By Stephanie Graves:
Despite the abnormally large Pacific Life Pac 10 Tournament logo on center court, the reconfiguration of press row court side or the representative banners of each of the participating schools there was no denying it:
This was a home game for the Women of Troy.
It was more than just that it was played in Los Angeles, in the Galen Center (the traditional home court for the Trojans), in the high-tech, up-tempo atmosphere they are all accustomed to. Because home is where the heart is. And their hearts were in this game.
The 5th seed Trojans never trailed against the WSU Cougars, eventually winning 78-66 in a game where the upper hand was never exchanged. The surprise of the night was 6-foot-2 freshman foward Cassie Harberts who redefined the term "breakout performance" with 31 points and 14 rebounds, the most by any Trojan woman since 2006. Her previous collegiate best? 18 points. The sudden increase in output? One can only speculate, but maybe this freshman, after a full season with the Women of Troy, is just finally starting to feel at home.
And just in time. Now Harberts and The Women of Troy face 4th ranked Arizona tomorrow at 5:15 pm PST at the Galen Center. Winning the quarter finals not just gets them to the next round, but gets them to 20 wins, a benchmark often associated with an NCAA berth (another feat that has not been conquered since 2006).
For complete stats and the access to a free live stream of the game go to: http://www.pac-10.org/Championships/PacificLifePac10BasketballTournament.aspx