Updated at: 02/17/2013 6:08 PM
By TOM CONNOLLY
(AP) LOS ANGELES - Layshia Clarendon scored 22 points and No. 6 California held off a late Southern California rally to beat the Trojans 72-64 on Sunday.
After trailing by 13 points in the second half, the Trojans battled back to make it a close game. Clarendon 9 of 17 shots and added a late basket down the stretch to help close out the win.
Cassie Harberts’ basket with 1:54 to play cut the lead to 63-59 but USC couldn’t get any closer.
Clarendon had a three-point play and Gennifer Brandon, Avigel Cohen and Afure Jemerigbe added six free throws late to seal the win.
The Golden Bears (23-2, 13-1 Pac-12) remain tied for first-place in conference with Stanford, which defeated UCLA on Sunday.
Harberts led USC (8-17, 5-9) with 20 points and Ariya added 15 points.
Brittany Boyd scored 16 points and Jemerigbe added 11 points for the Golden Bears.
The Golden Bears extended their winning streak to 11 games and guaranteed themselves a first round bye in the Pac 12 Tournament. California owns the longest current winning streak in the conference and their 11 consecutive wins is the second longest winning streak in school history.
California’s win also marks their first victory at USC since 2009 and gives the Golden Bears its first sweep of the Trojans since 2007-08 season. California has not lost a game since dropping a 62-53 decision to Stanford on January 8th. The Golden Bears jumped out to a quick start knocking down three straight 3-pointers. Afure Jemerigbe nailed a 3 and Boyd drilled back-to-back 3’s. Clarendon’s then added a basket giving California an 11-2 lead at the 17:05 mark.
California increased it lead to 32-20 following two free throws by Eliza Pierre with 6:50 left in the half.
The Trojans cut the lead to 34-27 following a free throw by Crook with 3:47 remaining but the Golden Bears countered to take a 38-29 lead at the break.
Jemerigbe led California with 10 points in the first half. The Golden Bears outrebounded the Trojans in the opening half 23-16.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)