LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Using a late fourth quarter surge, the USC Trojans slipped past the Nevada women’s basketball team 50-47 Friday night in the Galen Center.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Wolf Pack (5-5), which led for over 35 minutes of the game and held a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Nevada outscored the Trojans (7-3) in all but one quarter, which USC held a 21-10 advantage in. Both teams struggled offensively throughout the game, but the Trojans recorded their best shooting quarter in the final frame, hitting 8-of-12 for 66.7 percent. In the fourth quarter for Nevada the Wolf Pack connected on just 4-of-16 from the field.
Nevada took an eight-point advantage into the final 10 minutes of play and quickly upped its lead to 10 after a pair of free throws by junior Nia Alexander at the 9:29 mark. From there USC began to slowly chip away at the lead but wasn’t able to make a serious push at overtaking the lead until under the four minute mark. After the media timeout with 4:37 to play, the Trojans went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 43 with then 3:09 on the clock.
Now with the clock ticking to under two to play, sophomore Essence Booker knocked down a turnaround jumper that gave the lead back to the Pack. The Trojans answered though with a layup in the paint, tying the score once more. Nevada was able to regain the lead just 20 seconds later on a made field goal by sophomore Da’Ja Hamilton. On the ensuing USC possession, sophomore Imani Lacy blocked the Trojans game-tying field goal attempt, but the Pack couldn’t connect on its shot attempt on the other end, giving the ball back to USC with less than 30 seconds to play. USC’s Endiya Rogers then hit the go-ahead and, what proved to be, game-winning 3-point attempt to put the Trojans up 48-47 with 28 seconds remaining. USC increased its lead to three after a couple of free throws, giving Nevada one more chance to tie with eight seconds left, but Booker’s 3-point attempt fell just short.
Hamilton led the Wolf Pack in scoring as the team’s only player to score in double figures, totaling 11 points. She knocked down a career-high three 3-pointers in the game, which also led the team. On the glass Nevada was led by Alexander, who grabbed eight and finished one point and two rebounds shy of recording her first double-double of the season. Booker tied her season-high with four assists and did not commit a turnover.
Nevada will conclude its stay at the Women of Troy Classic tomorrow morning with an 11 a.m. contest against UTRGV from the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California.