Brandon Spencer, the man accused of shooting a rival gang member on campus last Halloween, was convicted of four counts of attempted murder on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Spencer could face life in prison.Halloween shooting · Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department place shooting victim Geno Hall into an ambulance Nov. 1, 2012 following the attack in Tutor Center Auditorium. – Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanTwenty-one-year-old Spencer shot twenty-two-year-old Geno Hall in October of 2012 amid a crowd of more than 100 people waiting in line to enter a Halloween party at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom hosted by the Black Student Assembly. Prosecutors argued in court that Spencer committed the shooting in retaliation for a gunshot wound he suffered a year earlier. They said the shooting was further motivated by a fight between Spencer and Hall on Twitter.Police maintain that Spencer attempted to flee the scene, discarding his shirt in the process. Spencer was found near a USC parking lot half a mile from the shooting scene. Police recovered a black revolver they believed to be Spencer’s three hours after the shooting.Hall sustained four wounds and three other men were injured in the shooting. According to the L.A. Times, Hall testified that he still has a bullet lodged in his pelvis area and continues to suffer from back pain due to the incident.A USC Dept. of Public Safety officer testified that he saw Spencer lift the gun out of his waistband. The officer later identified Spencer out of the possible suspects detained due to his height, clothing and skin shade.Spencer’s attorney John Blanchard defended his client by saying that many partygoers were wearing clothing similar to Spencer’s. Furthermore, Blanchard noted that the DNA found on the gun was only a partial match, according to the L.A. Times.Blanchard told reporters that Spencer plans to appeal.
Just two strokes separated the USC women’s golf team from capturing its second consecutive national championship last Friday, the third time in five years that the Women of Troy have finished in second place at the NCAA championships. Despite an individual national title from junior Doris Chen and a career-best final round from senior Sophia Popov, USC could not overtake Duke on the back nine at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The top two squads finished well ahead of any challengers, with third-place UCLA finishing 15 strokes behind Duke at 25-over.Silver lining · Though USC failed to win the team championship, junior Doris Chen’s short game was in strong form throughout the tournament. – Courtesy of USC Sports Information Following a come-from-behind win over Washington to capture the NCAA West Region, the Women of Troy seemed to be in prime position for another national title. Tulsa C.C. played more difficult than expected, however, and after one round the top of the field remained crowded. Oklahoma, which would go on to finish fourth, held a three-stroke lead over UCLA. Arizona State, Duke, and USC were locked in a three-way tie for third place, five strokes behind the Sooners. It was Chen who kept her team in contention throughout the opening round, shooting a 3-under 67, tying her with Stanford’s Lauren Kim and Denver’s Tonje Daffinrud for the early lead. None of Chen’s teammates were near par on the day, the closest being freshman Karen Chung at 4-over. Popov, the most experienced of the Women of Troy, limped to a 9-over.USC’s hopes dimmed during Wednesday’s second round, as the team slipped into fourth place while the leaders surged ahead. Chung led the team at even par, followed by Chen at 2-over. Popov continued to struggle, carding another uncharacteristic 9-over, while sophomore Annie Park, the defending individual NCAA champion, added a second straight 5-over. Though no player shot below par, the Women of Troy collectively improved their performance by a slight margin, a good omen for the rest of the tournament.Down nine strokes with just two rounds to play, USC had to make its move in the third round. The team received sparkling performances from Chen and sophomore Kyung Kim, who finished with scores of 2-under and 3-under, respectively. Popov returned to form in the penultimate round of her career, adding an even-par 70. Though Park continued to struggle, Chung’s 3-over gave the Women of Troy their first collective under-par round of the tournament. Going into Friday’s final 18 holes, the team sat six strokes back of Duke in second place, well within striking distance. After the round, USC head coach Andrea Gaston praised Popov’s resilience.“I’m proud of the way she fought back today,” Gaston told usctrojans.com. “She’s been struggling in the postseason, but was able to put it behind her … She’s been such a huge part of our program the past four years and I’m happy to see her have a great round.”The Women of Troy turned in their best performance of the NCAA championships in the fourth and final round, but, unfortunately for Gaston’s squad, so did the Blue Devils. It appeared that USC had fully recovered its championship form on the front nine, as the team took over the lead with under-par performances from Chen, Kim and Popov. Chen would slip up early in the back nine, however, allowing Duke to retake control. The Blue Devils’ Celine Boutier nearly took Chen’s national title out from under her during this stretch, but the Bradenton, Florida native was able to hold Boutier off by just two strokes. Even a heroic 4-under effort on the back nine from Popov would not be enough to secure the team championship, as Duke’s constant pressure proved too much for the Women of Troy.Chen finished with a four-round total of 6-under, finishing the tournament as USC’s fifth individual national champion. She attributed her victory to an improvement in her short game.“I was glad that my putts were finally falling,” Chen told USC Trojans. “The couple rounds before, I had stuck my shots close to the flag, but wasn’t able to putt in from a medium distance. I hit some great shots today and my putting was there, too. Most of all I kept myself composed and enjoyed the game.”Kim’s 5-over was good for a 16th-place tie, while Chung tied for 28th at 8-over. Popov finished at 13-over, but was instrumental in her team’s comeback effort. Park seemed to find her stride in the final round, firing a 1-over, but it was too little, too late for the sophomore standout. The Levittown, New York native’s struggles were puzzling, especially coming on the heels of her second-place finish at the west regionals. Luckily for USC, Park has two more years to avenge this performance.Gaston was quick to find a silver lining in her team’s loss. “Obviously I knew we had a deficit we had to make up,” she told usctrojans.com. “We hadn’t played the front 9 well all week and I knew we needed a fast start. They figured it out today and played incredibly well.”Interestingly, 2014 marks the final season that the NCAA will use pure stroke play to determine its team national champion. Starting next year, the team title will be determined by a combination of a stroke play and match play event. Even more interesting? The 2015 NCAA Championships will be hosted in Chen’s hometown of Bradenton, Florida.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team extended its win-streak to 10 games and is off to the best start in school history, as it defeated Minnesota 63-53 Saturday at the Kohl Center.The Badgers (25-2, 13-1 Big Ten) were victorious with senior forward Frank Kaminsky leading the way once again. The National Player of the Year candidate finished with 21 points on 9-13 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 36 minutes of play.For the first time in awhile, Wisconsin was held in check to start the game. Minnesota (16-12 overall, 5-10) prevented UW from jumping out to a hot start, which the Badgers have become accustomed to doing as of late.The Badgers and Gophers continually traded baskets to start the game, as UW was unable to build a lead greater than three points for the first nine minutes of the first half.Kaminsky led the way to start the game, scoring 12 points on 5-6 shooting in the first 10 minutes of the first half.Wisconsin had built their lead to seven points when Kaminsky exited the game for the first time with 9:28 remaining.With the All-American out of the game, UW struggled to take care of the ball and allowed Minnesota to crawl back into the game. Over the course of the next 2:34, the Gophers trimmed the Badger lead down from seven to one.At that point, Kaminsky checked back in and, despite the senior not scoring for the remainder of the period, Wisconsin finished the first half strong, going into the locker room with a 35-27 lead.“It was just one of those games where we got the lead and never looked back and tried to grind it out,” Kaminsky said.Sophomore guard Bronson Koenig joined Kaminsky as the only two Badgers to score in double figures in the first half, recording 10 points on 3-6 shooting from the field and 2-4 from three-point range.Despite the first-half performances by Kaminsky and Koenig, the highlight of the first 20 minutes was when redshirt senior guard Josh Gasser hit a layup in the post with 1:15 remaining.That layup gave Gasser 1,000 points for his Wisconsin career and made him the 41st Badger to reach that milestone.“It’s great,” Gasser said. “In a month or two when the season is over and I look back at everything that’s gone on, I’ll be proud if it. But right now, we got bigger fish to fry.”Gasser joined Michael Finley as the only two players from Wisconsin to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 assists in their careers.In the second half, the Badgers never wavered, as they held a double-digit lead throughout the frame and only saw the lead get to single digits once with 1:37 remaining in the game. But by that time, the game was well out of reach for Minnesota.“Wisconsin does a great job of not beating themselves by not fouling and not turning the ball over,” Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said.Over the course of the entire 40 minutes Sunday, the Badgers committed just seven fouls, with no player committing more than two, and limited Minnesota to just one free throw attempt, which they missed.“When you are a coach you get frustrated with fouls and turnovers,” Pitino said. “They don’t do it, and that is why they win.”Defensively, Wisconsin put in one of their best performances of the season. They forced Minnesota into 11 turnovers and blocked nine Minnesota shots.A big reason as to why Wisconsin was able to be so successful defensively was its efforts in not letting Minnesota guard Andre Hollins have a significant impact on the game.Hollins, who came into the game as the Gopher’s leading scorer, was limited to just two points on 1-8 shooting with Gasser on him for the majority of the afternoon.“I felt extremely prepared with what he was going to do and what Minnesota was going to do offensively,” Gasser said. “Especially in the first half, I felt like I was one step ahead of what was coming. It’s tough. It’s not an easy task. Because I felt locked in.”Minnesota’s leading scorers were Nate Mason, DeAndre Mathieu and Carlos Morris, who each finished with 11 points.For Wisconsin, Koenig finished with a career-high 17 points on 4-10 shooting and sophomore forward Nigel Hayes recorded nine points and seven rebounds.Junior forward Sam Dekker struggled from the field, scoring just five points on 1-8 shooting, but he did record three blocks.As a team, Wisconsin shot 23-49 (47 percent) from the field and 10-25 (40 percent) from behind the arc.With the end of the regular season in sight, Wisconsin now faces their toughest stretch yet, having road games against Maryland and Ohio State and the final home game against Michigan State over the course of the next two weeks.The Badgers will see this tough stretch as a final tune-up before they enter postseason play.“It’ll be a good test for us,” Kaminsky said. “We are excited for the challenge and we will do whatever we can to come out on top.”Wisconsin will travel Tuesday to College Park where they will take on Maryland for the first and only time this season. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.