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USC Women’s Basketball Sees WSU Take Control In 71-63 Loss To The Cougars

Jan 14, 2022

LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team saw an early lead over visiting Washington State get chipped away by the Cougars, who snagged their first lead of the game late in the third quarter and pressed on to top the Trojans 71-63 tonight at Galen Center. The loss puts USC at 8-5 overall with a 1-2 mark in Pac-12 play. WSU goes to 10-5, 2-2.

A combined 12 threes fell in the first half of action, with the Trojans burying seven of those. USC had led it 12-0 early before WSU found its scoring touch and closed the gap to five points in the second quarter. But USC fired back and took a 37-30 lead by halftime. USC was shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range to that  point, while WSU shot 34.6 percent overall and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc through those first 20 minutes. USC was up on the boards 22-13 through that first half, with all eight Trojans who hit the court in the scoring column by the break. WSU would up its efforts on the boards and on the shooting front, finishing up on top in rebounding 35-34 and wrapping at 38.3 percent from the floor with nine threes made. USC finished shooting 40.4 percent, hitting a season-high 11 threes but remaining plagued by second-chance opportunities by the Cougars, who scored 17 points off second chances.

USC was led by Jordyn Jenkins' 20 points and a career-high 15 from Bella Perkins. WSU had four players hit double digits, meanwhile, paced by 20 from Johanna Teder with 14 from Ucla Motuga, 13 from Charlisse Leger-Walker and 10 from Bella Murekatete.

USC jumped out to a 12-0 lead, highlighted by threes from Bella Perkins and Alyson Miura and a couple buckets from Rayah Marshall. WSU was 0-for-11 from the floor until a 3-pointer fell for the Cougars to snap their scoreless run and make it 12-3 with 2:00 left in the first frame. Jordan Jenkins would follow that with a strike down low, and then Perkins landed another long one, and USC was up 17-3 at the close of the first. WSU found its scoring touch in the next stretch, making a 9-0 run with a couple threes planted in that run to make it 25-17. It was a veritable 3-point parade later. Alissa Pili, Desiree Caldwell and Miura all nailed threes for the Trojan cause in a span of one minute, while WSU added one of its own in that stretch as the score stretched to 35-24 Trojans with 1:55 left in the first half. The Cougars found one more three before the close of the half, and it was a 37-30 margin with USC on top at the break.

The Cougars carved down USC's advantage to two midway through the third in following up a Rayah Marshall bucket with a 3-pointer that made it 47-45 USC with 4:40 on the clock.The Cougars would eke ahead and take its first lead later in the frame, making a 7-0 surge to go up 52-48 in the final minute before a Jenkins basket snapped the run and made it 52-50 WSU entering the fourth. Perkins' fifth straight 3-pointer tugged the Trojans ahead 53-52 in the first 30 seconds of the fourth, but WSU responded with an 8-0 rally that put the Cougars in the driver's seat to stay.

- With five made 3-pointers, FR Bella Perkins set a new career high.
- Perkins' 15 points also set a new career high.
- With her first two 3-pointers made tonight, JR Alyson Miura improved to a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point range spanning back to last week's win over No. 4 Arizona, where she was 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
- With another three blocks tonight, FR Rayah Marshall extended her run of games with at least one block to eight straight. 
- GS Tera Reed had a career-high nine assists.
- USC's 11 threes made was a season high and tied as the third most in a single game in program history.

USC has another Pac-12 tilt ahead, hosting Washington in a 12 p.m. clash on Sunday (Jan. 16) at Galen Center.