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USC Women’s Basketball Surges To 90-50 Win Over Hawai’i In Season Opener

Nov 11, 2021

LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team manufactured 25-0 run in the fourth quarter to put visiting Hawai'i well out of reach in the Trojans' season opener at Galen Center, claiming victory with a final 90-50 scoreline. By the final buzzer, USC had tallied 11 scorers, including five Trojans in double digits to help secure a 1-0 start in Lindsay Gottlieb's first game as USC's head coach.

USC went big in the second half, turning up the volume on a 38.9 percent first-half output to finish shooting at a 51.5 percent clip in the game. Hawai'i kept pace with USC in the second quarter, only to see the Trojans find a groove in the final 20 minutes. The Rainbow Wahine finished up shooting 30.3 percent from the floor, while USC led on the boards 49-33.

Of USC five double-digit scorers, Jordan Sanders led the pack with a game-high 17 points with help from a 3-for-3 effort from beyond the arc. In her USC debut, freshman Rayah Marshall was one board off a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Another newcomer, graduate Student Tera Reed contributed 11 points and five assists in her first outing as a Trojan, with junior Angel Jackson also adding 11 points. Sophomore Jordyn Jenkins, meanwhile, scored 10 points for the Trojan cause. 

Hawai'i was led in scoring by Kallin Spiller's 14 points, along with 11 from McKenna Haire.

After a slow start, the Trojans made a 6-0 rally on the first USC baskets from Tera Reed and Rayah Marshall to build out a 7-2 lead early on. The Trojans would lead it 15-6 by the end of the first and got out ahead 25-9 after a Jordan Sanders three and a bucket from Desiree Caldwell midway through the second. Hawai'i carved that down as the Rainbow Wahine found their scoring touch from the perimeter. It was an eight-point game when USC freshman Bella Perkins landed her first 3-pointer as a Trojan to make it 30-19 three minutes away from halftime. With the last word coming from Jordan Sanders, USC was up 35-26 at the close of the first half.

USC kicked off the second half with an 8-0 rally sparked by a 3-pointer from Sanders. She'd become USC's first player in double digits later after a successful trip to the free-throw line, and Angel Jackson joined that status with a putback that made it 56-40 USC with 2:50 on the clock in the third quarter. Hawai'i fired back, but USC closed out the third with a 6-0 rally keyed by Kyra White and with another capper from Sanders to go up 62-45 entering the fourth. There, Jordyn Jenkins capitalized on back-to-back fast breaks to work her way into double digits and craft a 68-46 lead just two minutes into the fourth. That helped charge up the Trojans for that overwhelming 25-0 power surge, which put USC ahead 87-46 before Hawai'i broke up the rally. With 2:15 to go, freshman Clarice Akunwafo became the 11th USC player to score with her first bucket as a Trojan.

NOTABLE:
- USC's season-opening win marked its first victory under new head coach Lindsay Gottlieb
- Freshman Rayah Marshall scored in doubles digits with 15 points in her USC debut.
- Grad transfer Tera Reed also hit double digits in her USC debut with 11 points.
- True freshmen Clarice Akunwafo (2 points) and Bella Perkins (5 points) scored their first points as Trojans tonight.
- Reed and Perkins each had a game-high five assists in their USC debuts.

NEXT: 
USC now turns to its first road trip of the season, heading to Charlottesville, Va., to take on Virginia — coached by Trojan great Tina Thompson — in a 1 p.m. ET clash on Sunday (Nov. 14).