Cougs Use Free Throws To Hold Off USC 65-58
January 28, 1999
LOS ANGELES - Tricia Lamb and Yvonne Volkman hit clutch free throws late in the game to propel Washington State to a 65-58 win over the host USC Trojans Thursday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
The Cougars (9-8 overall, 3-5 in Pacific-10 Conference play) used runs of 13 straight and 9-2 in the second half to build up a lead, then connected on 15 of 18 free throws in the last nine minutes to maintain the advantage. Volkman, who finished with 16 points, hit all six free throws late in the game and Lamb, who scored a game-high 18, hit eight of 10 charity tosses.
USC (6-11, 2-6) was led by Tiffany Washington's 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Tashara Carter added 13 and had 10 boards. Tiffany Elmore chipped in with 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers.
After the Trojans took a 30-27 lead early in the second half, WSU ran off 13 straight points, including five from Jennifer Stinson and Volkman's four points. Volkman started the run with a jumper and Stinson followed by downing her only three-point attempt of the game. A pair of free throws from Victoria Harrod gave the Cougars their biggest lead, 40-30, with 14:34 left in the game.
The Trojans, however, battled back and pulled within one of the Cougars, 46-45, on a pair of free throws from Aimee Copp. Volkman finally halted the 15-4 USC run with a pair of free throws as the Cougars ran off six quick points to take a seven-point advantage, 52-45, with seven minutes to play.
The closest the Trojans could get over the final seven minutes was three points, 58-55, with three minutes left in the game. Elmore and Carter each hit three-point buckets and Carmen Krause added two free throws as the Trojans made their final run at WSU.
This time Lamb came to the Cougars' rescue with a pair of free throws. Over the final three minutes she hit three of four free throws and Jennifer Kerns and Volkman each hit a pair of charity shots to hold off the host club. In the second half the Cougars made 21 of 24 free throws after missing all three attempts in the opening half.
"Volkman seems to like that starting spot," Cougar head coach Harold Rhodes said after the game. "She is going to prove me right. She has stepped up her defense and her offense and right now is playing as well as any of our players."
"Our inside players gave us what we needed, even though they were in foul trouble and eventually fouled out," Rhodes said after watching Stinson, Victoria Harrod and Sheri Quinton foul out. "They played well defensively and set some great screens for our scorers."
The game was a contest of contrasts between the first and second halves, especially for the Cougars. On the way to a 22-22 tie at intermission, WSU shot 34.5 percent from the field in the first half, then hit half of its shots in the final half. Volkman, who scored just three points in the first 20 minutes, scored 16 after intermission. Lamb was almost as silent in the opening half, five points, and she too scored 13 in the second half. Ten of Lamb's points came at the free throw line, all in the second half.
Saturday the Cougars take on eighth ranked UCLA, a ??-?? winner over Washington that pushes their record to 16-4 and a perfect 8-0 in Pac-10 play.
WSU (9-8/3-5) - Volkman 5-10 5-6 16, Stinson 3-5 0-0 7, Quinton 3-4 0-0 6, Nyseth 1-2 2-2 4, Lamb 3-16 10-12 18, Harrod 2-3 2-4 6, Kerns 2-6 2-3 6, DeAnda 1-3 0-0 2, Team 20-49 21-27 65.
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