Feb. 3, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Charmaine Jones scored a career-high 26 points for Washington State, as the Cougars twice rallied from a double-digit deficit but in the end fell short to the USC Women of Troy 69-62 in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Thursday at the Sports Arena.
The Cougars (5-16, 1-11) were down by 12 in the first half but came back to tie the game and were down by 13 in the second half before rallying to take a one-point lead with less than three minutes remaining.
The Los Angeles native Jones scored 15 points in the first half en route to tying the highest point output by a Cougar this season. Adriane Ferguson scored 26 points at Nebraska, Nov. 22.
"Charmaine played 40 minutes intensely," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. "She is capable of doing that every night."
Keisha Moore tied a season-high with 12 points and Kate Benz added 10 for WSU. Benz's point output marked the 13th double-digit scoring game of the season for the sophomore from Portland, Ore. Brynn Cameron scored 19 points to lead USC (15-6, 9-3).
Down 46-33 with 12:40 remaining in the game, the Cougars fought their way back to take a 59-58 lead with 2:55 left. However, USC ended the game on an 11-3 run to capture its ninth straight win over the Cougars.
"Defensively we are doing some great things; we are just having some breakdowns toward the end," Murrell said. "It's hard to win on the road in the Pac-10 so there were some great positives from this game and one of them is defense."
The Women of Troy jumped out to a 10-0 lead during the game's opening three minutes. Jones made the first dent on the scoreboard for WSU with a 3-pointer at the 16:53 mark of the first half. USC extended its lead to as much as 17-5 with 12:30 remaining but the Cougars gradually eroded USC's lead thanks to the duo of Jones and Moore.
The tandem accounted for the Cougars' initial 21 points (Jones 15, Moore 6) of the game. The first points coming from a player other than Jones or Moore was a bucket by Jessica Perry at the 1:51 mark of the half.
Ironically, Perry's bucket, which amounted to the only points for WSU from other than the Jones-Moore duo in the first half, brought the Cougars back to a tie at 23.
USC immediately regained the advantage with a 3-pointer from Cameron with 1:34 remaining. The Women of Troy closed out the first half scoring with a bucket from Jamie Funn to go into the break enjoying a 28-23 advantage.
An exchange of points during the opening moments of the second half maintained USC's five-point advantage at 34-29 nearly four minutes into the second half.
The Women of Troy used a 12-2 run to re-establish their double-digit lead to 46-33 with 12:24 remaining. The Cougars responded with five consecutive points to whittle USC's lead back down to single digits at 46-38.
USC extended its leads back to 10 at 53-43 but the Cougars went on another run, this time a 9-0 spurt, to pull within one at the 7:03 mark.
After a Gipson bucket extended USC's lead to three, the Cougars tied the game for the second time with three free throws, courtesy of Benz and Moore.
But just as in the first time WSU tied the game, USC immediately regained the lead with a trey from Cameron.
Down 58-55, a Dani Montgomery bucket and two free throws from Moore gave the Cougars their first, and only, lead of the game at 59-58 with 2:55 left.
WSU returns to action at UCLA, Sunday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live nationally on FSN.