USC Women’s Basketball Stumbles Late In Pac-12 First Round, Falling to UCLA 73-60
LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team lost ground in the fourth quarter, falling out of a tie with No. 7 seed UCLA and winding up with a 73-60 loss to the Bruins in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament tonight at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The loss leaves the Trojans with a 12-16 overall record.
USC was in stride with UCLA out of the gates until a 9-0 Bruin run got the Trojans in a hole. UCLA would score nine points off of USC turnovers in the first half to help build a 33-26 halftime lead. The Trojans were hitting at a 41-percent clip from the floor to outpace UCLA's 33 percent, although the Bruins benefited from some extra trips to the free-throw line, going 8-of-9 in those first 20 minutes compared to USC's 5-of-7 outing. Entering the fourth, USC was even with UCLA at 46-46, but the Trojans failed to score a field goal for over eight minutes while the Bruins built out a comfortable lead. USC would finish the game shooting 36 percent from the floor to UCLA's final 39.7 percent as the Bruins scored 27 points in the fourth quarter. UCLA controlled the boards as well, 45-31, to help keep the Trojans at bay.
USC was led by Jordan Sanders' 18 points along with a double-double from Rayah Marshall with her 17 points and 11 rebounds. UCLA received 18 points from Ilmar'i Thomas along with 14 from Charisma Osborne, 13 from Angela Dugalic and 11 from Jaelynn Penn.
Rayah Marshall had six of USC's first nine points as the Trojans kept pace with the Bruins, with USC nudging After Jordyn Jenkins followed a bucket from Alyson Miura with two free throws in USC's first trip to the line of the day. Jenkins' tosses had USC ahead 13-12 with 1:29 on the clock. UCLA had the final word of the frame, though, with a basket that had the Bruins ahead 14-13 at the end of the first. In the second quarter, UCLA manufactured a 9-0 rally to craft a 25-16 lead with 4:45 to go. USC chipped it down to a five-point margin with scores from Miura and Marshall, only to see UCLA score eight straight points next to go up 33-20 at 2:00. The Trojans found some late momentum with a 4-for-4 effort from the stripe followed by a buzzer-beating score from Jordan Sanders, and it was 33-26 UCLA at halftime.
In the third, USC carved the deficit down to one with a three-point play from Sanders and another three from Reed, making it 35-34 with 7:55 on the clock. With 1:38 to go, USC was still in reach at 46-44 after a steal from Desiree Caldwell fueled a fast break finish from Marshall after another smooth Sanders bucket. Sanders would finish out the frame with a successful trip to the line, knocking down two to level it 46-46 at the close of the third. USC would hit a cold snap offensively, coming up empty from the floor while UCLA built out some room. Sanders' 3-pointer with 1:40 to go was USC's first basket of the fourth, and UCLA held a 69-53 lead before that three fell for the Trojans. It was too much ground to make up for USC, which wound up with a 73-60 final defeat to the Bruins.
- With one block tonight, FR Rayah Marshall extended her run of games with at least one block to 23 straight.
- With 17 points, Marshall scored in double digits for the 12th straight game.
- With 11 rebounds, Marshall secured her fourth double-double in the last five games.
- Marshall has now recorded a team-high seven double-doubles this season.