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USC women earn Pac-12 Conference tournament title

USC women earn Pac-12 Conference tournament title

Southern California ccheerleaders in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Los Angeles./AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

SEATTLE (AP) — Kiki Alofaituli scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, and Southern California earned its first Pac-12 Conference tournament title by rallying for a 71-62 win over Oregon State on Sunday night.

Ariya Crook had 16 points as the Trojans claimed their first Pac-12 title since winning the regular-season crown in 1994. USC (22-12) trailed 34-23 late in the first half and 36-29 at halftime, but used a press defense to quickly make up the deficit in the second half.

Deven Hunter led Oregon State (23-10) with 19 points.

Southern California was already the first team in tournament history to win three games just to reach the final. It capped its four-wins-in-four-days streak with a defensive effort in the second half that flustered the Beavers and took away any doubt about its NCAA tournament status.

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