USC women fall to UCLA in Pac-10 semis

This just might be the end for the Women of Troy.

Third-seeded USC lost a close fight to second-seeded UCLA on Saturday at the Galen Center, 59-53, in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament. The Women of Troy (19-12) led with as few as four minutes left, but they couldn't buy a bucket in the final minutes. After senior guard Heather Oliver hit a big three to give USC a 53-51 lead with 4:25 to go, USC didn't score again, putting UCLA (24-7) in the championship game against Stanford on Sunday afternoon.

Ashley Corral led USC with 15 points and senior Aarika Hughes added 12. UCLA's trio of Darxia Morris, Jasmine Dixon, and Markel Walker combined to score 41 points to lead the No. 23 Bruins.

The Women of Troy started horrendously, converting just 18 percent of their shots in the first 14 minutes of play. While USC did right the ship somewhat, shooting 32 percent overall, the Bruins had a sizable advantage for the game by shooting 43 percent.

USC coach Michael Cooper said before the tournament his team had a definite shot to qualify for the NCAA tournament — and that's certainly true. But a semifinal win would've given the Women of Troy a much better case. Now USC must wait until Monday, when the selection committee determines the bracket for the NCAA Women's Tournament.