USC Women’s Basketball Is Home For The Holiday, Hosting Penn and Utah State
USC returns home to start a six-game stretch of action at Galen Center beginning with two test this week. At 2 p.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 23), the Trojans put their 4-0 start on the line against a first-time opponent in Penn (1-4). From there, USC sets up to host Utah State in a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday (Nov. 26). Saturday's game against the Aggies will have free admission for fans.
Both of USC's games this are being streamed live at pac-12.com/live/usc. Carlo Jiménez will be on the call for Wednesday's USC-Penn game, with Nara Weng and USC alum Jamie Hagiya on the call for Saturday's game against Utah State.
IN THE NATION
USC was receiving votes in the preseason USA Today poll. USC is not ranked in the latest national polls.
USC took control of things in the second quarter of play and left host San Francisco chasing the game as the Trojans captured a 74-48 win over their hosts over the weekend in San Francisco, Calif. USC's fourth straight win of 2022-23 saw the Trojans hold their opponents to under 50 points once again. USC was paced by Rayah Marshall's eighth career double-double, with the sophomore scoring 18 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Kadi Sissoko was USC's top scorer with 21 points, and Destiny Littleton added 12 for the Trojans. USF had two players finish in double digits: Kennedy Dickie (15 points) and Jasmine Gayles (11 points). The Trojans were shooting 49 percent from the floor in the first half to help lead it 41-30 at the break, while USF was shooting 39 percent to that point. Both teams cooled a bit in the second half, but USC stayed strong and wrapped things at 43.5 percent to well outpace the Dons' 28.8 final output. USC would win the battle of the boards 43-32 thanks in part to Marshall's 11 rebounds and eight from Sissoko.USF made the first move in going up 4-0, only to see the Trojans make a 9-0 rally to take the lead. Still, it was a tight 17-15 edge after 10 minutes of play, and the score knotted up three times in the second before USC made another 9-0 surge. The Trojans would lead the rest of the way, gripping a 41-30 advantage by halftime. The Dons managed only eight points in the third while the Trojans piled on 23 more points, and USC had a clear course to the road victory.
- With 18 points and 10 rebounds, SO Rayah Marshall recorded her eighth career double-double (second this season).
- With another block, Marshall extended her streak to 27 consecutive games with at least one block.
- With 21 points, GS Kadi Sissoko scored in double digits for the fourth straight game.
- Sissoko's 21 points marked her highest-scoring game as a Trojan
- With 12 points, GS Destiny Littleton scored in double digits for the fourth straight game.
- With two threes hit, GS Okako Adika has hit a 3-pointer for the fourth straight game
- GS Rokia Doumbia's first career basket as a Trojan was a 3-pointer landed in San Francisco.
- USC held its opponent to 50 points or fewer for the fourth straight game.
TESTED BY THE TOREROS
USC outlasted 16 lead changes with a late push to beat host San Diego 58-50 at Jenny Craig Pavilion Last week. 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 head coach Lindsay Gottlieb now has won 250 games in her career as a head coach.
- With five blocks, SO Rayah Marshall extended her streak of games with at least one block to 26 in a row.
- With 19 points, 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, 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.
The Women of Troy are a dynamic group with solid returning talent along with a powerful group of newcomers. The 2022-23 roster features All-Pac-12 honoree Rayah Marshall and its top 3-point scorer Alyson Miura returning from last season, in addition to seven transfers ready to hit the court in Cardinal and Gold. USC's group of grad transfers features an NCAA champion in Destiny Littleton along with three standout internationals in Kadi Sissoko, Rokia Doumbia and Okako Adika. USC has also welcomed undergraduate transfers Kayla Williams, Koi Love and Taylor Bigby to the Trojan Family.
RAYAH'S PAC-12 POWER
USC sophomore Rayah Marshall has added to her Pac-12 accolades with her earning of All-Pac-12 Preseason Honorable Mention from the media. The top-ranked freshman in the nation in blocks last season, Marshall is back for more in her second year as a Trojan. Marshall earned All-Pac-12 Defensive Honorable Mention last year, and was selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. She was USC's third leading scorer with 11. 3 points per game while dominating the boards with a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game to go along with her 2.54 blocks per game — ranking her No. 12 overall in the nation in that category.
JUJU WATKINS | Sierra Canyon HS (Watts, Calif.)
The USC women's basketball program has the stage set for some serious star power with the addition of the nation's top high school player, guard JuJu Watkins, who signed a national letter of intent to join the Women of Troy in 2023. Heralded as the best in the USA, Watkins named the 2022 MaxPreps National Player of the Year as a junior. A native of Watts, Calif., Watkins is sticking to her Los Angeles roots in becoming a Trojan. In addition to her numerous California state accolades, she also brings in significant international experience as a member of the United States U-17 and U-16 national teams. She was named the MVP of the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup in helping Team USA to a gold medal at that event. And in 2021, she was the MVP of the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, where the U.S. squad also won gold. The 6-1 guard has played club ball for Sports Academy Swish GBL. And in her junior season with Sierra Canyon, Watkins piled up state honors as the Gatorade California Girls Basketball Player of the Year, CIF Mc. Basketball State Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times Player of the Year and Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year in 2022.
MALIA SAMUELS | Garfield HS (Seattle, Wash.)
USC gets another guard stronger with the addition of Seattle product Malia Samuels, who signed a national letter of intent to become a Trojan. A 5-6 guard, Samuels was the 2021-22 3A Washington State Player of the Year as a junior. Also named State Tournament MVP that season, she was an All-State First Team honoree. A regular on all-state honor rolls and the 2022 Metro League Player of the Year, she averaged 16.5 points, 6.3 assist, 6.1 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game at the guard slots. At the club level, she has competed for Greyhounds and is considered the top girls basketball recruit out of the state of Washington in this 2023 class.