Feb. 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Washington State University cut USC's lead to two in the final minute before the Women of Troy knocked down a three with 13 seconds left to hand the Cougars a 67-62 defeat in Pac-12 Conference play in Los Angeles Thursday evening.
Senior guard April Cook led the Cougars (10-12, 4-6 Pac-12) with 18 points while fellow senior Jazmine Perkins notched her second straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. WSU was held to 38 .5 percent from the floor and was forced into an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers by USC (12-9, 6-4 Pac-12) who shot 50 percent in the second half to hold off the WSU comeback attempt. The Cougars finished with nine three's while holding USC, the conference's leader in three-point shooting, to 4-of-16 (25.0%).
Perkins opened the game with a steal and three for the Cougs. Junior forward Carly Noyes later hit a jumper from the left elbow and senior guard April Cook followed with a three from the top of the key for an early 8-2 WSU lead.
USC would follow with a 6-0 spurt which later turned into a 13-3 run and give Southern California a 15-11 lead at the 10:04 mark.
The first half would then see the game tied four different times over the final ten minutes. Sophomore guard Brandi Thomas connected on a pair of three's, Perkins added old-fashioned three-point play and junior guard Sage Romberg hit at three before USC closed the half with four straight points and take 32-27 lead into the break.
Perkins and Thomas each finished the half with six points as WSU shot 43.5 percent from the floor but committed 11 turnovers. USC scored 16 points from inside the key while being held to 38.7 percent shooting.
Noyes opened the second half with a jumper but USC countered with an 8-0 run to build a 40-29 lead. Perkins sparked the Cougs with consecutive driving layups before getting whistled for a controversial offensive foul call while driving for another layin.
USC would take advantage of the call and momentum shift, scoring the next five points to open up a 12-point lead. Southern California would later extend its run to 11-2 and take a 52-35 advantage with 9:56 remaining.
The Cougars turned to the veterans as Cook hit a three while she was fouled and converted on the free throw. Perkins followed with a couple free throws and Noyes later added a layin. USC answered with six straight points before Cook caught fire from the outside, hitting a pair of three's and adding an old-fashioned three-point play for her own 9-0 run and pull the Cougs within eight, 60-52 with 4:56 remaining.
Minutes later, Perkins continued to attack the basket, drawing fouls and knocking down free throws to score five straight points. The Cougar defense came up big on USC's next trip down as Tarnowski made a steal and dished to Cook who drove the lane and got her layup to fall to make it a five-point game.
USC would miss both free throw attempts on their next trip down with 58 seconds remaining and Tarnowski followed by knocking down a three from the left wing to cap WSU's 10-0 run and cut the USC lead to 64-62 with 43 seconds remaining.
Southern California would get the big shot it needed as the ran the clock down and dished out to Ariya Crook on the right wing who hit a three with 13 seconds left to end the Cougars comeback and seal up the conference victory.
Noyes and Thomas added eight points for the Cougs as Perkins finished with four assists.
The Cougars wrap up their Southern California road swing against UCLA 2 p.m., Saturday.
Katie Grad started for the first time this season...Jazmine Perkins' three in the first half gave her 1,200 career points...Perkins notched her fifth double-double of the season, fourth of Pac-12 play and ninth of her career...April Cook scored a season-high 18 points and matched a career-high with four three's...Perkins made a career-high eight free throws...WSU's nine three's tie for the second most this season...the Cougars committed 20 turnovers for just the third time this season, first time in Pac-12 play and first time since against Gonzaga (11/30/11).