Skip to main content

USC Women’s Basketball Is Victorious In Virginia With 65-48 Win Over The Cavaliers

Nov 14, 2021

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - The USC women's basketball team will bring a road win home from a cross-country visit to Virginia, where the Trojans topped the Cavaliers 65-48. Freshman Clarice Akunwafo tallied a double-double for the Trojans as USC turned a one-point margin into a 17-point lead during the second half thanks to some stingy defense and effective offense. USC is now 2-0 overall with today's road win.

Jordan Sanders was in double digits by halftime for the Trojans, who shot 37.0 percent from the floor in this first 20 minutes to just outpace Virginia's 33.3 percent effort. The Cavaliers were ahead on the boards 35-30 at that point, but USC had help on the offensive end from four 3-pointers landed by halftime to help USC lead it 34-39 at halftime. By the final buzzer, USC had left Virginia well behind, finishing up shooting 35.9 recent from the floor while UVA wrapped at 28.1 percent. USC ended up winning the battle onto boards 52, 45, thanks in part to a career-high 10 rebounds apiece from senior guard Desiree Caldwell and freshman center Clarice Akunwafo.

Akunwafo was one of four Trojans to score in double figures, putting in 10 points while fellow freshman Rayah Marshall led all scorers with 16 points. Tera Reed and Jordan Sanders each had 13 apiece. Virginia's top scorer was Taylor Valladay with nine points.

USC jumped out to an 11-0 rally out of the gates, only to see the Cavaliers reel the Trojans back in and make it a one-point game by the close of the first frame. Virginia would snag its first lead of the game with a bucket to kick off the second quarter, edging ahead 18-17. Jordan Sanders took things into her hands next, though, nailed two free throws and then a smooth jumper to get USC back on top. A freshman connection between Rayah Marshall and Clarice Akunwafo made it a 6-0 USC sure, and USC gripped a 24-18 advantage at the 7:00 mack. Later in the frame, Sanders and Tera Reed each buried 3-pointers,  although the Cavaliers had the final word of the first half with a late basket to make it 34-30 Trojans by the break.

In the third, USC had Rayah Marshall to thank for helping to turn a one-point game into a 10-point Trojan lead entering the fourth. Marshall provided 10 of USC's 18 points in the frame, as the Trojans took a 52-42 lead into the fourth. There, the USC defense gave up just six points to the Cavaliers while working out to a final 65-48 win as freshman Clarice Akunwafo got to a double-double to join three other Trojans in double digits on the day.

- This was the Trojans' first road under new USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb
- With 4 steals today, GS Tera Reed matched her career high set at VCU last season.
- FR Clarice Akunwafo is the first Trojan to record a double-double with her 10 points and 10 rebounds.
- SR Desiree Caldwell had career-high 10 rebounds.
- FR Rayah Marshall scored 10 of her 16 final points during the third quarter. 
- With six steals today, GS Jordan Sanders matched her career high set at UC Irvine in 2018.
- The Cavaliers have two former Trojans on the coaching staff in head coach Tina Thompson and associate head coach Karleen (Shields) Thompson. 
- USC was without JR Alissa Pili today due to injury.

USC returns home next week to host two teams at Galen Center. On Thursday (Nov. 18), the Trojans take on Western Michigan at 7 p.m., and then on Saturday (Nov. 20), USC hosts Missouri State in a 2 p.m. contest.