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COLLEGE BASKETBALL WOMEN’S ROUNDUP : Trojans Pull Off a Surprise by Defeating Washington, 69-62

The NCAA tournament selection committee would have been impressed had USC played No.9-ranked Washington close Friday night. Nobody expected the Trojans to win.

Nobody, that is, except the Trojans, who fought their way to a 69-62 victory--and possibly into the postseason tournament--before 879 at the Lyon Center.

The Trojans, 16-10 overall and 10-6 in the Pacific 10, are one game ahead of UCLA and third in the conference. The third-place team is almost certain to go to the tournament.

USC’s final two games, against Washington State and UCLA, are at home.

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“We saw this game as an opportunity,” USC Coach Marianne Stanley said. “I told them to put up or shut up and to sieze that opportunity.”

Leading at halftime, 30-28, the Trojans maintained constant pressure on the Huskies (20-4, 12-3), forcing 27 turnovers.

The Trojans capitalized on Washington foul trouble--Jocelyn McIntire and Laurie Merlino fouled out in the final minute--by making 20 of 24 from the free throw line.

Washington was 13 of 23 from the line.

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Freshman Lisa Leslie led the Trojans with 32 points and put the Trojans up, 62-57, with an eight-foot jumper with 2:24 remaining. Leslie made 10 of 11 free throws.


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