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USC Women’s Basketball Makes Late Surge To Top San Diego 58-50

Nov 15, 2022

LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team outlasted 16 lead changes with a late push to beat host San Diego 58-50 tonight at Jenny Craig Pavilion. A steady 19-point effort from Kadi Sissoko led the way for the Trojans, who outscored their hosts 17-10 in the fourth quarter to notch their third win of the season and first road victory. The win also marked a benchmark for USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who tallied her 250th career victory as a head coach.

After a sluggish first quarter, both teams picked up the pace in next 10 minutes, trading runs and trading turns in the lead. The hosts would take the early advantage, leading it 26-25 at halftime. The Trojans were shooting 34.6 percent from the floor to outpace the Toreros' 31 percent effort, but USD was controlling the boards 26-15 by the break. In the second half, USC found hotter hands and ended up rounding out the game shooting 43.1 percent overall to USD's final 35.6 percent outing. The boards remained in Torero control, though, as USC trailed its host 43-31 on the rebounding front.

USC received a game-high 19 points from Sissoko, while Destiny Littleton returned to her home town and posted 12 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Rayah Marshall ended up a rebound shy of a double-double, recording 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. San Diego was led in scoring by Myah Pace with 16 point along with 12 from Kiera Oakry, while Laura Erikstrup pulled in 10 rebounds for the Toreros.

USC's defense kept the Toreros from scoring any more than a single free throw in the first five minutes of the game. USC went cold next, however, as USD maneuvered ahead with a 9-0 run to lead it 9-6 before Kadi Sissoko broke USC's silence with a layup to make it a 9-8 margin just before the close of the first quarter. USC would slip behind 18-12 in the second frame before Rayah Marshall delivered a booming block and Destiny Littleton finished a runner to give USC a spark. Marshall converted a three-point play next, and Taylor Bigby landed USC's first 3-pointer of the night to make it an 8-0 rally and get the Trojans into the lead, up 21-18 with 3:05 on the clock. Again the Toreros made a push back, snagging back the lead with a couple buckets entering the final minute of the half. Sissoko struck again next, but USD had the last word with a take to the hoop, and it was a 26-25 Torero lead at the break.

The pace quickened again in the third, with a back-and-forth battle out of the gates before back-to-back buckets from Sissoko got USC into the lead. The Trojans would stay out ahead of the Toreros with help from Kayla Williams, who hit a couple key shots to take USC ahead 41-36. USD again fired back, and cut the deficit down to one before the buzzer, leaving USC with a 41-40 lead entering the fourth. The lead trade hands three more times and was even at 44-44 before another Marshall block — her fifth — keyed a Littleton bucket that was followed by a pair of free throws from Williams, and USC was up 48-44 with 5:50 to go. A 3-pointer from Okako Adika proved the boost USC needed down the stretch, as it turned a two-point game into a five-point margin with 4:00 remaining. A minute later, USC manufactured a 6-0 rally to lock things in, as Sissoko scored her 19th points of the night and Littleton struck on a runner before landing two free throws to balloon USC's lead to 57-58 with 1:18 to go. That had USC in e driver's seat for the last stretch, as USC wrapped the 58-50 road win.

USC's next action takes the Trojans to San Francisco to face the Dons at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 19).

- With tonight's victory, USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb now has won 250 games in her career as a head coach.
- With five blocks tonight, SO Rayah Marshall extended her streak of games with at least one block to 26 in a row. 
- With 19 points tonight, GS Kadi Sissoko scored in double digits for the third straight game.
- Sissoko's 19 points marked her highest-scoring game as a Trojan
- With 12 points tonight, GS Destiny Littleton scored in double digits for the third straight game.
- GS Okako Adika hit a 3-pointer for the third straight game
- USC held its opponent to 50 points or fewer for the third straight game.