March 11, 2011
From Stephanie Graves:
Brutality is a two way street.
At high noon, USC faced Cal in the ever-changing Staples Center, but it did not start out as planned. Sluggish and inconsistent, the offense was not on par with the Trojans usually solid D. However with three minutes left in the first half, something (which might have been the always fiery Coach O' Neill) ignited the Trojans scoring. The final momentum shift came when PAC 10 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Simmons hit a textbook three pointer at the buzzer to end the half with the Trojans on top. The rest, as they say, was history as USC handed Cal a 70-56 defeat. Big Man Alex Stephenson lead the way 14 points, 16 rebounds while small, but mighty Maurice Jones took home 16 points and 4 assists. They face Arizona tonight at 6 p.m. A quality win might take them from "bubble team" to sure fire Cinderella.
But the Women of Troy had no such luck. After keeping pace the first half against Arizona, the second halt turned out to be too much. The final score of 72-61 does not paint the full picture of USC's struggles to keep their tournament hopes alive as they failed to defend their perimeter. Ending with a 19 win season, it is now up to the NCAA to determine whether they will get an invitation to the big dance or not.
For complete statistics visit: http://www.pac-10.org/Championships/PacificLifePac10BasketballTournament.aspx