Shay Murphy's Three Gets USC 68-65 Road Win Over OSU|
Feb. 1, 2007
CORVALLIS, ORE. -- The USC women's basketball team got a last-second 3-pointer from senior guard Shay Murphy that put the finishing touches on a 68-65 comeback win at Oregon State for the Women of Troy and secured Murphy's 47th straight game in double figures. USC had been trailing by 11 points with 8:30 to go in the game before catching a spark and making a committed run down the stretch. Murphy scored the last 10 points for the Trojans to finish with 24 points. Jamie Hagiya also hit double figures for the ninth straight game with 11 points, and Chloe Kerr had 10 points. The Beavers' Pac-10 scoring leader, Casey Nash, led all scorers with 27 points and took the final shot with a near-miss on a last-second shot from near halfcourt. The victory improves USC's record to 14-8 overall and 8-4 in Pac-10 play, while Oregon State moves to 8-12, 3-8.
For the second straight season, Shay Murphy had the ball in deep 3-point range with just ticks left on the clock -- lined up for the game-winning strike. This year, the senior guard nailed it. Murphy knocked down the game-winning 3-point shot that had eluded her until that point in her collegiate career. Murphy was just off the mark on a potential game-winning three in last year's losing road contest at OSU, but thanks to a swift rebound and a slick dish from fellow senior Hagiya, as well as a sure touch on her last shot of the night, Murphy delivered to push USC ahead 68-65 with 2.5 seconds to go.
A tug-of-war in the first half gave way to a trade of runs later in the half. Oregon State's late run, however, pulled the Beavers even by halftime, as USC's 31-22 lead was eaten up by a 9-0 OSU scoring run capped off by a pair of free throws from the Pac-10 scoring leader Casey Nash, who had 15 points by halftime as the teams were locked 31-31 going into the locker rooms. In the second half, the teams each held nine-point leads, but OSU's grew to an 11-point cushion thanks to a 16-0 scoring run. Then it was USC's turn to dig into that lead. Down 56-45 with 8:30 on the clock, USC methodically and determinedly worked back into the game. USC cut in and trailed by four in the final minute, but pressure team defense and focused shooting from Murphy stole the game away from the Beavers as USC finished the game with a 7-0 run -- all from the shooting hands of Murphy, but with a key steal, rebound and assist from Hagiya down the stretch.
A 3-pointer from Oregon native Aarika Hughes gave USC its first lead of the half at 14:45, up 8-7 on the Beavers. A bucked and a three from OSU's Casey Nash got the Beavers up 14-10, however. Jamie Funn slipped in a post score soon after, and then Jamie Hagiya dumped in a pair of free throws to tie it back up as the teams entered the next 10 minutes of the half. Murphy drained a three next for the Trojans, lifting them up 17-14 at 9:45. A minute later, Hagiya nabbed a steal near halfcourt and took it the other way for a 21-16 USC advantage. USC's press took a lot of time off the clock for the Beavers, and USC took the ball away. Nadia Parker delivered down low to make it a 6-0 scoring run for the Trojans and a 23-16 lead. Nash ended the run with two free throws to get the Pac-10 scoring leader into double figures. Another USC steal set off a fast break, and Murphy dished to Simone Jelks for a jumper that put USC ahead 27-20 with six minutes to go. Back-to-back buckets from Chloe Kerr got USC to a 31-22 lead. OSU reeled off seven straight points next, however, cutting that lead to 31-29 with 1:30 remaining. Murphy was just barely off her next 3-point try, and Nash converted two fre throws to tie it up with 25 seconds left, ang that lock-up held for halftime.
Kerr snapped that streak with a bucket down low to get USC back on top. Another one from Kerr answered Mercedes Fox-Griffin's 11th points of the night and brought Kerr into double digits, and then Murphy locked down her 47th straight game in double figures with a steal and a layup for a 37-33 lead at 17:50. Two OSU free throws pushed the Beavers to their first lead since 11:10 in the first half, up 44-43 at 13:25 in the second. After USC's 12th turnover of the game, Fox-Griffin hit two free throws to help OSU to a 48-43 lead at 10:55. Jasmine Smith made it a 12-0 run for the Beavers with a jumper just before the 10-minute mark, and Fox-Griffin scored again to make it 52-43 OSU at 9:15. Free throws from Nash put USC behind 54-43 before USC ended a six-minute scoring drought with a basket from Parker. OSU didn't pick up a fould until 8:30 left in the second half. With 3-pointers not falling for the Trojans, an inside bucket from Medlock made it 56-47 OSU with 7:20 on the clock. A big 3-pointer from Hagiya came next, however, making it 56-50.
Trailing by six with five minutes remaining in regulation, USC got a low score from Funn to cut in further. Nash scored her 25th points of the night next, but Hagiya hit a jumper soon after to make it 60-56 with four minutes to go. She later slipped in a layup to cut the lead to two, entering the 2-minute mark. Nash knocked down two free throws next for a 62-58 OSU lead at 1:50. Fox-Griffin went to the line next for the Beaver with 1:28 on the clock, making one to put USC in a five-point hole. Murphy hit a three, but OSU got a quick layup next. Trailing 65-61 with 37 seconds left, Murphy's 3-point try was off. OSU had the ball under the USC hoop with 33 seconds remaining. USC got the steal, however, with Hagiya dishing to Murphy for a layup and a 65-63 score with 24 seconds left. Lomax went to the line for OSU and missed. Murphy was fouled next on a layup try, going to the line with 11 seconds to go. She iced both. And USC put on the full-court press to perfection, forcing a five-second violation to take the ball back with 11 seconds still on the clock. Tied up 65-65, Murphy was off on her jumper try, but the long rebound was tracked down by Hagiya. She slipped it to Murphy, who went for a long three and drained it with 2.5 seconds left. Nash took a shot at a buzzer-beating long bomb, and came close, but the shot hit the front rim and out to hold USC with a hard-fought 68-65 road win.
USC now heads to Eugene to square off against Oregon at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 3).
USC 68, Oregon State 65