USC Women’s Basketball Upended By UCLA 68-58 At Galen Center
LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team was hampered by UCLA's hot shooting out of the gates in the Trojans' second straight clash with their rival, falling 68-58 tonight at Galen Center. USC goes to 9-7 overall and to 2-4 in Pac-12 play with the loss, while UCLA improves to 9-4, 4-1.
UCLA's scoring output outpaced the Trojans in the first half to account for the Bruins' 38-29 halftime advantage. UCLA shot 58.3 percent in those first 20 minutes, with five 3-pointers nailed, while USC was at 46.2 percent with a trio of treys. UCLA also benefited from a bevy of trips to the free-throw line, going 13-of-15 from the stripe to USC's 4-of-7 effort. USC fought back to tie it up twice in the third, but lost ground later and was unable to carve closer. USC finished the game shooting 40.8 percent while UCLA dropped to finish at 39.6 percent. The Bruins wrapped up with six 3-pointers made to five from the Trojans, and UCLA led on the boards 36-28. The free-throw edge also went to the Bruins, who shot 20-of-23 from the stripe to USC's 13-of-19.
USC got a seventh-straight double-digit outing from sophomore Jordyn Jenkins, who was one of three Trojans to score 13 points tonight. Alissa Pili and Tera Reed each hit 13 points, marking each Trojans' fourth double-digit outing this season. UCLA received a game-high 27 points from Charisma Osborne along with 14 from Ilmar'i Thomas and 10 from Natalie Chou.
The Bruins hit three 3-pointers in the first three minutes to go up 12-4 before USC's Tera Reed landed one for the Trojans. UCLA was shooting at a 70-percent clip until the late stages of the first, with five 3-pointers falling in that stretch to help the Bruins lead it 24-16 after 10 minutes of action. The Trojans carved the deficit down to three on two occasions — first with a 3-pointer from Alyson Miura that made it 28-25 UCLA at 4:45, and then with a nice bucket in the paint from Clarice Akunwafo off a feed from Alissa Pili less than a minute later. Trailing 30-27 at the 4:00 mark, USC saw the Bruins respond with an 8-0 run in the next three minutes before USC broke that up with another Akunwafo score to make it 38-29 at the close of the half.
USC got in a groove out of the gates in the second half, following up two Jordyn Jenkins free throws with a bucket from Akunwafo and then a 3-pointer buried by Pili to tug the Trojans within two, down 38-36 with 7:40 on the clock. Jenkins equalized things next with a take to the hoop, knotting it at 38-38 at 6:50. UCLA broke its silence at 5:35 with a jumper, only to see Reed hit the hole moments later for another lockup at 40-40. The Bruins regrouped, though, outscoring USC 12-2 in a four-minute stretch to go up 52-42 entering the final minute of the third. One USC free throw would fall before the close of the quarter, making it a 52-43 deficit for the Trojans entering the fourth. A couple Pili buckets and a 3-point blast from Bella Perkins helped USC carve into things, with a Reed free throw making it a 57-51 margin with 5:00 to go. That's as close as the Trojans would get, with UCLA forging a path to a final 68-58 victory.
- FR Clarice Akunwafo earned her first career start as as Trojan tonight.
- GS Tera Reed had 10 points in the first half to secure her fourth double-digit game of the season
- With 13 points tonight, SO Jordyn Jenkins has scored in double digits in seven straight games
- With another block tonight, FR Rayah Marshall extended her run of games with at least one block to 11 straight.
USC hits the road next for a Pac-12 trip through Oregon. The Trojans visit Oregon State for a 7 p.m. clash on Friday (Jan. 28) in Corvallis before heading to Eugene to take on Oregon at 12 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 30).