Women's hoops edges USC in thriller game
Becca Tobin scored 12 points and hit the game-winning basket with 24 seconds left as Arizona State defeated Southern California 62-61 in a thriller at the Galen Center on Saturday.
Tobin, a senior forward from Glendale, Ariz., scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, including ASU's last six points of the game.
Dymond Simon led ASU with 13 points before leaving the game late in the second half after running into a blind screen while attempting to defend in the backcourt.
Arizona State (13-6, 5-4 Pac-10), which had not shot higher than 38 percent in its last three games, shot 51 percent from the floor on Saturday and 93 percent (14-15) from the free throw line.
"Talk about stepping up and finding a way to get it done," ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said following the win. "We said it was going to be defense versus offense in this game and with four minutes left we said `we are the better defensive team [and] this is our game,' and I thought our team did a great job.
"We were a little rattled down the stretch, but they regrouped and I'm very proud of this team and the way they performed today."
After trailing by as many as 14 points early in the second half, the Trojans (13-7, 5-4) slowly chipped away at ASU's lead. USC guard Ashley Corral led the charge for the Trojans as she scored 12 of her game-high 14 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 5:34 left that gave USC its first lead, 54-53, during a 14-0 run. A layup by guard Jacki Gemelos increased USC's lead to 56-53 before Sun Devil guard Deja Mann, who replaced Simon at point guard, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 56-56 with 4:05 left.
Briana Gilbreath hit a pair of free throws to put USC back up 58-56 before Tobin answered on the opposite end with a layup to tie the game at 58-58.
Following a defensive stop Tobin would once again put the Sun Devils ahead after scoring on a layup to put ASU up 60-58.
USC would once again tie the score at 60-60 when Gemelos connected on a jumper with 49 seconds left.
The Sun Devils immediately inbounded the ball and would eventually get it to Tobin, who dribbled around traffic and drove to the basket for the layup, which put ASU up 62-60 with 24 seconds left.
Gilbreath would draw a foul on the opposite end and hit one of two free throws to bring USC within a point. Kimberly Brandon grabbed the rebound off Gilbreath's miss and was immediately fouled by USC.
Brandon would miss the front end of a one and one and the rebound was grabbed by USC, which called timeout with eight seconds left.
Following the timeout Corral would take the ball and dribble the length of the floor before launching a three-pointer which fell short, giving ASU the win.
Offensively speaking, the Sun Devils carried over some momentum from the second half of their 70-60 loss at UCLA on Thursday in which they shot 60 percent over the last 11:03 after a dismal effort over the first 29 minutes of the game.
The Sun Devils scored the first five points of the game and did not allow USC to get on the board until more than four minutes had gone by in the game.
Brandon scored all nine of her points in the first half to help give the Sun Devils a 33-21 halftime lead. ASU shot 50 percent in the first half while limiting USC to 33 percent.
The Sun Devils outrebounded the Trojans 31-25, however also turned the ball over 21 times, which led to 27 USC points.