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Originally published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

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Eastern Washington advances to Big Sky semifinals | Women's basketball roundup

Sophomore point guard Kylie Huerta imposed her will on the Montana State Bobcats, pushing Eastern Washington into the semifinals of the...

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MISSOULA, Mont. — Sophomore point guard Kylie Huerta imposed her will on the Montana State Bobcats, pushing Eastern Washington into the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference women's basketball tournament Wednesday.

Huerta, a Kentwood High product, finished with 12 points, nine assists and six steals in Eastern's 68-53 victory. During the 21-2 run that broke open a previously close contest and gave EWU a commanding 47-31 advantage, Huerta had three steals and four assists.

The Eagles (19-11) will face No. 2 seed Northern Colorado (19-11) at 11 a.m. on Friday in the semifinals.

Aubrey Ashenfelter scored 12.

Two of Huerta's assists found freshman Hayley Hodgins, who finished with 11 points. Two others were dished to Lexie Nelson, who led the Eagles with 18 points.

"We really got out and ran in the second half, and I felt like I was just finding a lot of my shooters like Lexie and Hayley just spotting up," Huerta said. "I think it really did start defensively, getting steals, getting blocks. We just got out and ran."

Montana State (17-13) was led by Kallie Durham, Ashley Brumwell and Rachel Semansky, with eight points each.

Cooper resigns

as USC coach

LOS ANGELES — Add another vacancy sign to the USC athletic offices.

Michael Cooper is the latest head coach to step down. USC announced his resignation as women's basketball coach in a news release quoting athletic director Pat Haden as saying, "We believe we should be competing for Pac-12 championships and NCAA bids on a consistent basis. We will conduct a search to find the right person to help us do that."

Haden fired men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill and baseball coach Frank Cruz in the last couple of months.

Cooper was 72-57 in four years at USC, but the Trojans swooned to 11-20 this season. "This program has to move forward, and it should have moved forward under my leadership. The best thing is for me to step down," Cooper said in a statement.

Before coming to USC, Cooper coached the Los Angeles Sparks in two stints covering eight seasons, qualifying for the WNBA playoffs seven times, winning five Western Conference titles and two WNBA titles.

He spent 12 seasons with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships.

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