Colorado Stays Perfect With 71-58 Win Over USC Women’s Basketball
LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team was unable to throw undefeated Colorado off its winning roll, falling 71-58 to the Buffaloes tonight in Boulder. USC got within two in the second quarter, but Colorado regrouped and took control in this Pac-12 opener for both teams. USC is now 7-4 overall and 0-1 in Pac-12 play, while Colorado stays perfect at 12-0 and now 1-0 in conference.
Colorado's five-point halftime advantage was largely created from the free-throw line, as the Buffs went 8-of-10 from the stripe while USC amassed 10 first-half fouls to just three by Colorado. USC was shooting 44 percent from the floor in those first 20 minutes to outpace the Buffs' 33 percent effort, but Colorado gripped a 34-29 lead at the break. The Buffs kept coming, though, landing three key 3-pointers in the second half while USC came up empty beyond the arc in those final 20 minutes. The Trojans were also plagued by 20 turnovers in the game. By the final buzzer, USC had shot 41.1 percent from the floor to Colorado's 34.7 percent, but the Buffs owned the offensive boards 19-10 to get extra chances. USC and Colorado finished even on the boards overall, 45-45.
USC's scoring efforts were led by Jordyn Jenkins' 14 points and a career-high 10 from Bella Perkins. On the boards, Rayah Marshall collected 10 rebounds and Alissa Pili had nine. Colorado had four players finish in double digits, led by Mya Hollingshed's 18 points along with 15 each from Jaylyn Sherrod and Frida Formann and a double-double from Quay Miller with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The foul count interrupted the Trojans' first-quarter efforts, tagged with six fouls to just one for the Buffs as the host capitalized with six free throws in that first 10-minute stretch. USC hit a scoring skid midway through the frame, hitting just a single free throw in over five minutes of play before Alissa Pili punched up her first points of the night to make it a 15-7 deficit at 2:15. A 3-pointer from Bella Perkins gave USC a boost, but Colorado scored the final four points to go up 21-12 at the end of the first. In the second, USC carved down that deficit, mounting a 7-0 rally to get within two on another bucket from Pili. The Buffs fired back, though, and would take a 34-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Buffs heated up in the opening stretch of the third, benefiting from a couple big 3-pointers drained to build out a double-digit advantage. A Colorado three-point play later had the Buffs up 50-35, but USC got its feet back under it later. The Trojans wrapped the third with an 8-0 run before the Buffs hit a single free throw, and then Clarice Akunwafo had the last word with bucket in the paint to carve the Colorado lead down to 56-48 entering the fourth. A frame-opening three from the Buffs gave the home team a boost, and they'd manufacture a 9-0 burst later to go up 68-52 with 5:00 to go. Only free throws would fall for Colorado the rest of the way, but the Trojans were unable to drive closer than 70-58 in the final minute before the Buffs closed it out with a final free-throw toss to make it a 71-58 score.
- FR Bella Perkins had her first game hitting more than one 3-pointer, nailing two and setting her career high scoring with 10 points.
- With four blocks tonight, FR Rayah Marshall extended her streak of blocks in a game to six straight.
- With 10 rebounds, Marshall also recorded her second straight double-digit rebounding game.
- With 14 points, SO Jordyn Jenkins hit double digits for the seventh time this season.
USC returns home next to set up for a rescheduled contest against Arizona. The Trojans and Wildcats wills square off at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 9) at Galen Center for their first Pac-12 clash of the season.