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USC Women Take Tense 60-59 Win Over Utah

Jan 8, 2021

ENDYIA ROGERS POSTGAME | WATCH: PAC-12 RECAP | Final Stats | BOX SCORE (PDF) | HIGHLIGHTS | Boxscore

LOS ANGELES — In the 11th lead change of the night, the USC women's basketball team engineered a fourth-quarter scoring surge to edge ahead of visiting Utah and hold on for a tight 60-59 victory over the Utes tonight at Galen Center. USC improves to 4-5 overall and to 2-5 in Pac-12 play with the victory, while Utah goes to 3-6, 2-6.

Utah hit five first-half 3-pointers to help outpace the Trojans in the first 20 minutes, although USC was nipping at the Utes' heels in trailing just 37-36 by halftime. The lead had changed hands four times and tied up five times before Utah got that edge by the break. USC had shot a hot 52 percent from the floor to Utah's 38 percent, while the Utes went 14-of-17 from the free-throw line and USC was 6-of-10 by halftime. Still trailing entering the fourth, USC manufactured a 10-0 run that proved the difference. Utah carved down the deficit, but USC held on to close out the tense win. The Trojans finished the game shooting 45 percent from the floor, while Utah wrapped at 31 percent. USC had the edge on the boards 32-31 and countered Utah's eight 3-pointers made with four of the own to go with a 26-16 advantage on points in the paint.

USC's scoring effort was led by Endyia Rogers 17 points along with 14 from Jordan Sanders and 12 from Angel Jackson. Sanders and Jackson also combined for 11 rebounds and five blocks, while Desiree Caldwell served up five assists. For Utah, Brynna Maxwell had a game-high 20 points, and Drew Gylten added 15 points for Utah.

Two ties and two lead changes were featured in the first frame as Utah countered USC's 62-percent shooting with an 8-for-9 effort from the free-throw line with the whistle blowing seven Trojan fouls. USC had made a 7-0 scoring rally to lead it 9-6 early, only to later see the Utes score the final four points of the first to lead it 21-17 after 10 minutes of action. Jordan Sanders would work her way into double figures for the seventh straight game as she kept hitting for the Trojan cause. After Desiree Caldwell nailed her first three of the night, freshman Jordyn Jenkins would get USC into the lead with her first bucket as a Trojan. That put USC up 34-32, and then the Trojans would go into the locker room with a one-point deficit, down 37-36.

It was all Angel Jackson for the Trojans to kick off the third, with the sophomore center scoring six straight points to get herself into double digits and keep the see-saw battle going. Minutes later, Endyia Rogers knocked down long three, USC had its largest lead of the night up 47-42 with 4:00 on the clock. Utah responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to snatch back the lead, tacking on one last bucket before the close of the quarter to take a 50-47 lead into the fourth. Rogers popped a three out of the gates in the fourth, snarling the score up at 50 apiece. The Trojans would stare down a 55-50 deficit and eclipse it with a 10-0 scoring rally that featured some fine finishes from Rogers, Jackson and Sanders. That got USC ahead 60-55 entering the final three minutes, and Utah fired back with free throws and a bucket that had it as a one-point margin with USC up 60-59. That margin would hold entering the final minute, where both teams came up empty in spite of gutsy late efforts that ramped up the tension as the Trojans emerged victorious over the Utes.

NOTABLE:
- FR F Jordyn Jenkins made her USC debut tonight after starting the season sidelined by injury.
- With her 14 points, SR F Jordan Sanders scored in double digits for the seventh straight game.
- With her 17 points, SO. G Endyia Rogers scored in double digits for the fifth straight game.

NEXT: 
USC will host Colorado on Monday (Jan. 11) at 12 p.m. at Galen Center. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Mountain.