USC Women’s Basketball Sees UCF Surge Late For 56-47 Loss In Cancun
CANCUN, MEXICO — The USC women's basketball team was upended by a fourth-quarter surge by UCF, which scored the final 13 points of the day to turn the tide on the Trojans and hand them a 56-47 loss today at the Cancun Challenge. USC had led by nine early in the fourth before the Knights stole control. The Trojans go to 4-2 overall with the loss, while UCF improves to 5-1.
USC had Alyson Miura to thank for a much-needed offensive spark in a largely defensive first half as the Trojans held the Knights to 26 percent shooting from the floor while USC shot 28 percent itself. Miura was the only player to hit a three in the first 20 minutes, knocking down four in the second quarter to lift USC into the lead, up 23-17 at the break. UCF was ahead on the boards at that point 21-19. The rebounding advantage stayed in the Knights' favor down the stretch, finishing up at 41-35, while USC also committed 19 turnovers to give UCF 13 points off those giveaways. By the final buzzer, USC had shot a cool 27.7 percent from the floor, while UCF had heated up to 32.8 percent.
USC was led in scoring by Alyson Miura's 12 points on her four 3-pointers made in the second quarter. Alissa Pili added 11 points for the Trojans, and Rayah Marshall had a career-high six blocks. UCF received a game-high 13 points from Diamond Battles and 10 points from Brittney Smith.
At the close of the event, USC's Alyson Miura was named to the Riviera Division All-Tournament Team.
Defense was the name of the game in the first frame until USC crafted a 6-0 run on consecutive buckets from Jordan Sanders and a pair of free throws from Angel Jackson to edge into the lead 7-4. Jordyn Jenkins had the last word of the quarter, delivering a stifling block to preserve USC's advantage, up 7-6 after 10 minutes of action. After UCF nudged back ahead, Alyson Miura landed back-to-back 3-pointers for the Trojan cause to build out a 15-10 lead midway through the second. Her hot hand would carry USC ahead 21-12 with two more long bombs, and the Trojans would lead things 23-17 by halftime.
USC would sneak to within two points with an early push in the third before Sanders knocked down her first 3-pointer and then followed it with a smooth jumper to tug the Trojans ahead 30-23 three minutes into the quarter. Again the gap closed to 32-30, but again the Trojans pushed ahead, leading it 40-34 entering the fourth. USC would plant a 3-pointer to get herself into double digits and craft USC's largest lead to that point, up 43-34. The Knights were undeterred, again carving the margin to two until Angel Jackson scored to make it 47-43 USC with 4:25 to go. Momentum shifted into the Knights' sails a minute later, with a three-point play setting UCF off on a 13-0 run to the final buzzer as the Trojans took a 56-47 loss to wrap the Cancun Challenge.
- JR Alyson Miura hit four 3-pointers in the game to tie her career high.
- FR Rayah Marshall had six blocks to set a new career high for herself.
- Marshall's six blocks was the fifth most by a Trojan in a game — most since Asiah Jones had eight in a game in 2016.
- USC committed a season-high 25 fouls.
- USC had a season-low 35 total rebounds and season-low three steals.
USC returns to hone turf for two tilts next week, first hosting UC Irvine at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 2) and then taking on San Francisco at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 5) at Galen Center.