Late rally leads USC over Oregon State

By Tim Booth / The Associated Press

SEATTLE — 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 Cook 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.

Oregon State could be headed for the NCAAs a season after finishing 12th in the conference, but was unable to claim its first Pac-12 title. Oregon State has not been to the NCAAs since 1996.