WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : USC Leads by 10 at Halftime, Loses to Oregon State by 13
Oregon State erased a 10-point USC halftime lead, then built and extended its own 10-point lead to beat the Trojans, 69-56, Thursday night before 388 at Lyon Center.
Coach Aki Hill’s Beavers (9-1) thus opened Pacific 10 Conference play with a victory over a team that had gone 17-3 against them since 1977 and was the Pac-10 champion last season at 16-2.
USC (7-2) had a 29-16 lead at one point and seemed to be much the better team at halftime, leading, 33-23.
But when Coach Cheryl Miller’s Trojans came out flat after intermission, Hill’s all- sophomore and junior team put up a stifling defense that pressured every shot and shut off USC’s inside passes to top scorer Tina Thompson.
Thompson, the 6-foot-3 sophomore who was leading USC with an average of 20 points a game, was held to 15, including nine free throws.
Oregon State doubled the score in the second half, 46-23.
The Beavers’ top scorer was 6-2 Swedish import Tanja Kostic with 23 points in 39 minutes.
Their floor leader was Anjanette Dionne, a 5-8 guard who disrupted USC all evening. She had six steals and three assists. Twice in the final three minutes, with USC desperately trying to battle back, she stole the ball and scored on runaways. The second steal sealed it, giving Oregon State a 61-49 lead with 1:30 left.
“We didn’t get to our hotel until 2 a.m., with LAX delays,” Hill said. “Maybe we should plan on more late arrivals.”
Miller said: “Oregon State is very talented, but we beat ourselves. You can’t come out against good teams with no intensity, drop a 10-point lead and expect to win many games.”