USC Women Heat Up In Second Half To Upend Utah 66-49
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — The USC women's basketball team made a power move in the second half to upend host Utah 66-49 today in Salt Lake City. The Trojans trailed by four points at halftime but held the Utes to just 16 points in the second half and capped the game on a 15-0 scoring surge fueled by 10 straight points from Shalexxus Aaron to help complete the Trojans' comeback road win. USC improves to 10-8 overall and to 8-7 in Pac-12 play with the win, while Utah goes to 5-13, 4-13.
The difference in the first half came decidedly at the free-throw line, where Utah went 10-of-14 while the Trojans received no trips to the stripe in the first 20 minutes. Both teams had hit five 3-pointers apiece and were otherwise offensively even as USC was shooting 34 percent from the floor and Utah was at 36 percent. Thanks in part to that free-throw advantage, Utah gripped a 33-29 lead by halftime. In the second, USC came out on an 11-0 run to take the lead and put the Utes on their heels. Only seven points would fall for Utah in the fourth, while USC turned an early tie into a commanding lead with that 15-0 run to close the last 5:20 of play.
USC would wrap the game shooting 41 percent from the floor, having hit nine 3-pointers along the way and going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Utah cooled to finish at 28 percent overall, finishing with six threes and going 13-of-18 from the stripe. Utah outrebounded the Trojans 42-34 but committed 17 turnovers.
USC received a game-high 17 points from Endyia Rogers and a season-high 16 points from Shalexxus Aaron, along with 10 points from Alyson Miura. Utah had three players finish in double digits as well: Niyah Becker (13 points), Brynna Maxwell (12) and Kemery Martin (10).
USC manufactured a 7-0 run in the first frame with buckets from Endyia Rogers and Alissa Pili topped off by a 3-pointer from Jordan Sander to nudge USC into an 11-9 lead. Utah would move back on top with a late push, holding a 21-17 lead after 10 minutes of action. In the second, USC went silent for a four-minute span and fell behind by nine before Shalexxus Aaron nailed her second three of the game for a lift. Alyson Miura and Endyia Rogers would both strike in the final minute of the half to bring it back to a four-point margin, trailing 33-29 by halftime.
USC opened the second half with an 11-0 run to maneuver into a 40-33 lead. The Trojans earned their first visits to the line during that rally, which also featured six turnovers committed by the Utes. Five different Trojans scored during the rally which was capped by Angel Jackson's first points of the day off a Rogers assist to get USC a 40-33 lead with 5:30 on the clock in the third.Utah would rein in the Trojans next, cutting it to a two-point game at 44-42 entering the fourth. There, the score would snarl up a 46-46 with 8:15 on the clock. USC responded with a 3-pointer from Rogers, and USC never looked back. The Trojans continued to interrupt the Utah attack, capitalizing on takeaways to the tune of a 15-0 run in the last 5:20, highlighted by Aaron's 10 straight points on the way to the final 66-49 USC victory.
- RS SO G Shalexxus Aaron scored a season-high 16 points and tied her season high of four 3-pointers made.
- SO G Alyson Miura scored in double digits for the second time this season.
- Miura has hit six 3-pointers in the past three games.
- SO G Endyia Rogers scored in double digits for the 16th time this season
- Rogers also tied her season high of seven assists.
USC returns home for the next stretch of Pac-12 play, hosting Oregon State in a 2:30 p.m. faceoff on Friday (Feb. 19) at Galen Center. And on Sunday (Feb. 21), the Trojans take on Oregon at 12 p.m.