The USC women’s basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak after defeating Pepperdine 75-71 in overtime on Wednesday. USC is 18-0 all time against Pepperdine, with the series dating back to 1977.
Pepperdine shot eight 3-pointers in the first half, giving the Waves a 42-35 lead at halftime over the Women of Troy. In the second half, the USC defense held the Waves’ Lauren Bell to four points. Bell put up 18 points in the first half for the Waves. The USC offense was facilitated by scores from senior guard Ashley Corral, junior guard Stefanie Gilbreath, senior guard Briana Gilbreath and sophomore forward Cassie Harberts.
With the USC offense wavering in the second half, the Women of Troy came up short for a whole four minutes. A three-point play by Harberts gave the Trojans a 56-55 lead with seven minutes left in the game.
Tied at 63 with less than two minutes remaining, Briana Gilbreath’s go-ahead attempt rolled off the rim to Pepperdine the ball with 11.7 seconds to go. A failed attempt by the Waves gave USC the ball with 4.6 seconds left in regulation. Freshman guard Ariya Crook sought to win the game for the Women of Troy but came up short, sending the game into overtime.
Pepperdine was the first to strike in overtime. Corral answered back with a three. The Women of Troy maintained at least a two-point lead for the remainder of overtime. USC sealed the victory after a missed three by Pepperdine was rebounded by Harberts.
Harberts led the Women of Troy with 23 points and Stefanie Gilbreath added 10 points. Junior forward Christina Marinacci had 12 rebounds and Briana Gilbreath posted a career-high nine assists.
The Women of Troy endured close losses on the road to Arkansas State (58-56) and reigning national champion Texas A&M (71-70). USC returns home Dec. 29 to host Stanford at the Galen Center at 7 p.m. in the Pac-12 conference opener, followed by a New Year’s Eve home matchup at 11 a.m. against California.