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.


“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.

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.