Stanford women survive scare from USC for Pac-12 victory

Brittany McPhee scored 21 points to pace Stanford's 72-65 victory over USC. Photo by Richard Erstad/

Brittany McPhee scored 21 points, point guard Marta Sniezek grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded six assists and the Stanford women's basketball team survived a threat from USC, beating the Trojans 72-65 on Sunday in a Pac-12 Conference contest.

Alanna Smith and Kiana Williams each added 13 points for the Cardinal (8-6, 2-0), which travels to Arizona for a conference game on Friday at 7 p.m.

Sniezek helped Stanford win the rebounding battle, 41-31. She came up with several key fourth-quarter rebounds that helped limit USC's ability to close the gap. Stanford never led by more than eight.

Kaylee Johnson's layup with 6:57 remaining to play gave Stanford a 60-52 edge but the Trojans continued to make it tough.

"We had a lot of different people contributing for us," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We just have to keep improving, take better care of the ball."

Nadia Fingall blocked a shot with 3:45 left that could have brought USC within three. The Trojans got the offensive rebound but missed a 3-pointer. Marta Sniezek grabbed the rebound, which led to a DiJonai Carrington layup at the other end and a seven-point advantage.

Smith hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the third quarter, giving Stanford a 36-34 lead. The Cardinal maintained the advantage, taking a 53-50 edge into the final period.

"We're getting different characters on different nights," VanDerveer said. "But some of the same characters will still be there, like Brit and Marta."

The Cardinal overcame an early 12-point deficit to take a four-point advantage with 3:30 left in the first half.

The Trojans used a 20-6 run to open its double-digit lead with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter. McPhee hit a 3-pointer to end the rally and spark a Stanford run.

Smith sank a pair of free throws to put the Cardinal ahead at 23-22 with 7:17 left in the second quarter. Another Smith free throw four minutes later put Stanford up 31-27.

The Trojans outscored Stanford 7-2 to rest of the way to take a 34-33 edge into halftime.

USC scored 21 points on 16 Cardinal turnovers but Stanford edged the Trojans, 14-10, in second chance points. The lead changed hands six times and was tied on three other occasions.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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