Women's college basketball: UCLA leads rival USC at halftime, 37-33
There's a mostly Bruins blue crowd at the Galen Center on Sunday, simulating a spirited home crowd for No. 10 UCLA as it faces crosstown rival USC in the Trojans' house at the Galen Center.
And at halftime, the Bruins lead, 37-33.
The game was back and forth until USC, which has made a concerted effort to score inside, used an 8-2 run to lead 14-11 with 10:08 left, but UCLA then responded with a 10-3 run for a 21-17 advantage.
Both teams kept exchanging buckets until USC got to within three on a jumper by guard Jackie Gemelos, but UCLA answered with a 10-2 run that extended the Bruins' lead to 37-28.
UCLA entered the game with its two leading scorers being senior guard Darxia Morris (12.5 points a game) and junior forward Jasmine Dixon (12.1), and both have played well so far Sunday, with Morris knocking down five of eight shots for 13 points and Dixon scoring 15 points on six-for-10 shooting.
Dixon also has nine rebounds.
USC is being led by Gemelos, a junior who has scored 10 points on four-of-six shooting. Freshman forward Cassie Harberts and senior guard Ashley Corral each have seven points.
UCLA beat USC earlier this season at Pauley Pavilion, 61-42, and the Bruins ended the first half on an 18-5 run, but USC has played much better defensively so far Sunday.
Kind of a strange play with 8:35 left when USC senior guard Briana Gilbreath's close-range shot bounced three times on the back of the rim and then just settled there on the bracket.
Gilbreath was fouled on the shot and knocked down one of her two free-throw attempts, but, still, you can't say that balencing act happens too often.
-- Baxter Holmes