Women of Troy eke out late victory over Oregon

A road date against Oregon was all the USC women’s basketball team needed to get back on track offensively.

The Women of Troy (15-11, 9-6) beat Oregon 87-84 at Mac Court for their second consecutive victory.  Sophomore guard Ashley Corral knocked down five 3-pointers and led four other USC players in double figures with 23 points.

Putting points on the board was not a problem for the Women of Troy against a high-octane Oregon squad that entered the game second in the country in scoring.  USC, which was held below 60 points in its last five games, eclipsed the 60-point mark early in the second half.

A series of runs by both teams marked the second half.  USC seized the lead on the opening possession with a 3-pointer by freshman forward Christina Marinacci.

The Women of Troy would stretch the lead to nine before Oregon made it close late.  Neither team led by more than three points in the half.

Clutch free-throw shooting and some key offensive rebounds helped the Women of Troy avenge an early-season loss to the Ducks.  USC trailed 82-80 late in the game when Marinacci rattled in a pair of free throws.  The Women of Troy would not trail the rest of the way.

Corral knocked down four of six free throws in the final minute to preserve the win for USC.  In a reversal of an earlier game this season, the Women of Troy got an extra possession after knocking a missed free throw out of bounds off an Oregon player.  USC lost a game to California on a similar play.

Big performances on the glass by Marinacci and senior guard Hailey Dunham helped USC outrebound Oregon 34-30.

USC trailed 47-46 at the break despite shooting more than 50 percent from the field in the first half.  Three players for USC reached double digits in points in the half.  Sophomore guard Briana Gilbreath paced all scorers with 15 points.  Corral and Dunham added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Oregon led 18-11 early when USC coach Michael Cooper picked up a technical foul.  His outburst prompted a 17-9 run by the Women of Troy that put them ahead 28-27.

Oregon senior Taylor Lilley — who erupted for 36 points and a school-record nine 3-pointers in the first meeting between the two schools — scored 14 points in the first half and finished with a team-high 22 points.  Backcourt mate Michaela Cocks added 16 points for the Ducks.

Redshirt junior guard Jacki Gemelos and Marinacci each scored 13 points for USC.  Dunham finished with 12 points and added seven rebounds for the Women of Troy.

USC moved into sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 with the victory. The Women of Troy look to sweep the season series against Oregon State on Saturday.