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USC returns to semis for second year in a row

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Eshaya Murphy scored 21 points in
leading USC to a 70-67 victory over Washington in the quarterfinals
of the Pac-10 tournament on Saturday night.

Camille LeNoir added 17 points for the Women of Troy (18-10),
who advanced to their second straight semifinal. USC meets
top-seeded Stanford on Sunday. USC lost to the Cardinal 73-69 in
last year's semifinal.

Jamie Hagiya hit one of two free throws with five seconds left
for the final margin. Nadia Parker had 10 points.

Cameo Hicks matched her career high with 26 points for
Washington (18-10), which lost its third straight. Emily Florence
added 13 points and Andrea Plouffe 12.

The teams split their regular-season meetings with each winning
on the road.

The Huskies lost their last two regular-season games by 31
points to Stanford and 23 points to California, their worst losses
of the season.

The Women of Troy led by as many as 15 in the opening minutes of
the second half but Washington closed to within 55-53 when Hicks
hit a putback with 6:08 remaining to play.

Hagiya and Murphy each hit key 3-pointers over the next 1:30
kept USC in front by six points, a lead the Women of Troy carried
into the final minute.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm early, though the
Women of Troy held the lead most of the way.

Hicks scored 18 points to keep Washington close most of the
first half. She made six of 12 shots while the rest of her Huskies
teammates missed 23 of 24 shots.

Washington's 19.4 percent field goal percentage in the first
half was its worst since its first game of the season against
Alabama when the Huskies also shot 19.4 percent in the second half.

USC put a run together, getting a pair of 3-pointers from
LeNoir, and eventually built a 32-20 halftime lead.