USC drops its second home game in a row

first_imgLooking to avenge their 61-42 loss to No. 9 UCLA on the road earlier in the season, the USC women’s basketball team came out scoring at a much faster pace on its home court Sunday.But the end result was the same, as the Women of Troy dropped their fourth straight game to their crosstown rivals, 74-67.Not enough · Coming off the bench, senior guard Jacki Gemelos finished with a team-high 16 points Sunday, but the Women of Troy were once again outdone by their crosstown rivals. The loss drops USC to .500 on the year in conference play. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan “It was a heck of a basketball game. UCLA proved why they’re the No. 10 team in the country,” said USC coach Michael Cooper. “I have to commend our team, these young ladies were playing their hearts out. If nothing else, we made [UCLA] shake a little bit.”The game marked the fourth loss for the Women of Troy (13-8, 5-5) in their last five games, and their second straight at home.The teams traded baskets throughout most of the first half, with three lead changes and four ties.With the score deadlocked 14-14 with 9:53 remaining in the first half, it looked as though it would be a defensive battle between the Pac-10 foes.But both teams started a flurry of scoring before halftime.The Bruins (19-2, 9-1) relied on offensive rebounding and second-chance points to stake out a 37-33 halftime lead.Senior guard Darxia Morris and junior forward Jasmine Dixon both scored well above their point per game averages, with Morris (12.5) scoring 24 points while Dixon (12.1) chipped in 23.Dixon briefly left the game with 2:23 remaining with a shoulder injury.But she returned before halftime, laying in a basket with less than a minute remaining to give the Bruins their largest lead of the game, 37-29.“[Dixon] is a solid post player. She works hard for every point she gets.” said USC junior guard Ashley Corral.But the Women of Troy managed to keep up with their rivals, forcing a couple of turnovers in the final minute of the first half to close the deficit to 37-33.UCLA came into the game with the better statistical defense, but USC forced the Bruins into 17 turnovers in the game while committing only 14 of their own, most of which came in the last few minutes of the game.“Once we got across half-court, we handled their trap [defense],” Corral said. “I didn’t think their pressure affected us a whole lot. I thought we did a lot better [than last time].”Senior guard Jacki Gemelos led the Trojans in scoring with 16 points, and kept USC within striking distance throughout the game.“I just found the open gaps and took my shot when it was open,” Gemelos said.Gemelos converted her third three-pointer of the game early in the second half to bring her team within one point, 45-44.She finished with a team-high 16 points off the bench.After that, the teams traded scoring runs. The Bruins went on a 12-4 run to gain their largest lead of the game.But the Women of Troy refused to collapse, responding with a 12-5 run to close the deficit to 62-60 with 3:56 remaining in the game.But the Women of Troy couldn’t quite regain the lead. With more than a minute remaining, UCLA collected a crucial offensive rebound while up 66-62.“When you play a top-10 team, it’s about the little things,” Cooper said. “Obviously, the way we were outrebounded [37-25] didn’t help.”USC junior guard Briana Gilbreath fouled Bruin guard Doreena Campbell, who calmly converted both free throws.The Trojans turned the ball over on their next two possessions, nailing their own coffin and sealing the game for the Bruins.The Women of Troy now sit at fifth place in the Pac-10, half a game behind Arizona State and California, which own 6-5 conference records.USC continues the second half of conference play with trips to Oregon and Oregon State next week.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________last_img read more

Tyler Lydon’s solo act not enough to rescue Syracuse at No. 9 North Carolina

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — With Syracuse’s comeback on life support in the second half, Tyler Lydon provided the same jolt he’d been delivering all game. The sophomore positioned himself near the top of the key and buried a long jumper, cutting SU’s deficit to 10 with about 11 minutes to go.On his way back down the court, Lydon placed one finger over his mouth, shushing a sellout crowd counting down the minutes to Roy Williams’ 800th head coaching win. It was about the only moment all night from Syracuse that warranted posturing. Because even during Lydon’s last-ditch, 18-point second half effort, the Tar Heels convincingly shut down the Orange.“I don’t really care how I played,” Lydon said. “My shot was falling, that was great. But we didn’t win, so it doesn’t matter.”The dynamic, 6-foot-9 sophomore was a one-man show for the Orange on both ends of the floor. Lydon led his team with 26 points, and his seven rebounds was second most for the visitors. But given what SU has shown in this strenuous season, one-man shows often don’t translate to wins, and it didn’t on Monday evening in North Carolina. No. 9 UNC (17-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast) easily dispatched Syracuse (11-8, 3-3), 85-68, leaving SU winless in its six games played outside of the Carrier Dome.“It can’t just be one guy,” senior forward Tyler Roberson said. “In order for us to win against great teams like North Carolina, we have to all play well.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOnly once did the Orange seriously tease an upset, charging into the second half with a 12-0 run that cut the Tar Heels’ lead to three. Lydon was the catalyst, corralling a rebound and sinking a 3 to kick-start the run. When North Carolina regained its lead and stretched it back to eight, Lydon answered with consecutive jumpers to slice the lead back to six.He seemed to have answers for anything UNC threw at him: Successfully hoisting shots over UNC’s guards when Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks sealed off the paint, and finding space underneath the hoop when they didn’t.“It was kind of a mismatch problem with him,” senior guard Andrew White said. “(North Carolina) was really big inside, so he was able to get his perimeter game going a little bit.“That was something we expect of him …  He showed a lot of offensive ability.”But the problem about this Syracuse team is that it consistently needs so much more from Lydon than his marquee offensive nights. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has been in a season-long bind defensively, and once again he called on Lydon, officially listed as a forward, to play significant minutes as SU’s center.Taurean Thompson played 12 minutes, and Dajuan Coleman never left his seat on the bench, just like he has in all of conference play (with the exception of one minute against Miami). Left to fend for himself down low, Lydon played all but one minute and performed as well as any of SU’s defenders on a night when they were outrebounded by 20. He and Roberson collected more than 60 percent of Syracuse’s rebounds, highlighting more voids in a Syracuse team with plenty of them.“He was just on,” Roberson said of Lydon. “… He just wasn’t missing. He was playing defense, and he played a really good game. We just fell a little short.”Boeheim agreed with Roberson’s sentiment about falling a “little short,” despite the final 17-point deficit. The veteran head coach thought it was SU’s best road game of the year. Yet, at least on the scoresheet, Lydon’s outing was the only overwhelmingly positive item.White scored 15 points off five 3s, but struggled to create his own shot against a rotating group of North Carolina player. Tyus Battle also pitched in 13 points, but didn’t do much outside of SU’s second-half 12-0 run when he had a pair of steals and two baskets. Lydon was largely all Syracuse had on Monday.When it’s just Lydon, it’s just not enough. Comments Published on January 16, 2017 at 11:15 pm Contact Connor: | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more