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USC Women's Basketball Goes Big In Vegas With 71-65 Win Over ASU

Mar 3, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEV. — The USC women's basketball team shot a season-best 65.2 percent — the third highest output in program history — to overpower Arizona State in today's Pac-12 Tournament first round game at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Four Trojans hit double digits in the 71-65 USC victory, in which the No. 8 seeded Trojans led the entire way against the No. 9 seeded Sun Devils. USC improves to 11-11 overall with the win and advances to the quarterfinal round.

USC shot a searing 70 percent from the floor in the first half and held the Sun Devils to just 29 percent with the Trojans' interruptive defense as USC crafted a 39-22 lead by halftime. USC would stay hot-handed in the second half, shooting 61 percent to wrap the game with that historic 65.2 percent effort —  which included a 50-percent outing from 3-point range — and keep the Sun Devils at bay. ASU landed four threes in the fourth quarter and got plenty of time at the free-throw line down the stretch to help carve into the USC advantage, but it wasn't near enough to overcome what was once a 21-point USC lead. The Sun Devils finished out the game shooting 34.9 percent overall and outrebounded USC 36-23. 

USC received a game-high 16 points from Jordyn Jenkins as well as the first career double-double from Endyia Rogers with her 15 points and career-high 11 assists. Also hitting double digits for the Trojans were Jordan Sanders (14 points) and Alissa Pili (12 points). ASU had Taya Hanson lead the Sun Devils in scoring with 15 points with five 3-pointers made, while Maggie Besselink had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Eboni Walker also hit double figures with 11 points for ASU. 

USC kicked out to a 9-0 run in the first quarter and a 10-0 run in the second while interrupting the ASU offense with staunch defensive pressure. A 3-pointer from Endyia Rogers out of the gates was the spark for USC, who swarmed the Sun Devils and picked off seven steals in the first frame to keep the upper hand. USC would lead it 18-7 after 10 minutes of action, and the Trojans stayed hot to crack open the second half. Alyson Miura's second 3-pointer of the day fired up USC to open the second quarter, and Shalexxus Aaron's first three gave USC its largest lead of the game at 28-7 with that 10-0 run. ASU would get buckets to fall next, but USC still wrapped the half with statements as Jordan Sanders blasted another three before Endyia Rogers put on a show with a slick move, step back and finish to make it 39-22 USC by the buzzer.

In the second half, ASU was able to chip away at the Trojan lead, but USC would not relent. Even when the officials' whistles made the Trojan foul count climb, USC found the buckets it needed to stay in control. In the fourth, USC pieced together a 7-0 run with Alissa Pili, Sanders and Jordyn Jenkins continuing to click, building out an 18-point lead with 5:55 remaining, creating a cushion to keep USC in the driver's seat down the stretch to the Trojans' final 71-65 victory.

- USC's 65.2 percent field goal percentage in the game was the third best output in program history and the best since the record was set at 67.8 in 1987.
- SO G Endyia Rogers had her first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 11 assists; it was her 16th game scoring in double digits this season.
- FR F Jordyn Jenkins had a career-high 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
- SO F Alissa Pili scored in double digits for the seventh time in the past eight games.
- SR F Jordan Sanders scored in double digits for the 11th time this season, going 6-of-7 from the floor.
- SO G Alyson Miura matched her career highs of three 3-pointers made and a 3-for-3 effort from beyond the arc.

USC now heads to the Pac-12 quarterfinals, facing No. 1 seed Stanford in a 2 p.m. clash tomorrow (March 4) at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.