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USC Women’s Basketball Battles Back To Beat Penn 66-60 For Fifth Straight Win

Nov 23, 2022

LOS ANGELES — The USC women's basketball team made an 11-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take late control of a tough test against Penn, finishing with two Trojan double-doubles as USC topped the visiting Quakers 66-60 at Galen Center. The win keeps USC perfect on the year with a 5-0 overall record, while Penn goes to 1-5.

Rayah Marshall had her ninth career double-double in place by halftime after helping USC to its first lead of the game with a late free throw that edged the Trojans ahead 34-33 at the break. USC was shooting 36.1 percent from the floor through those first 20 minutes, having trailed by as much as nine points in the second quarter. Penn was shooting 43.3 percent from the floor in that first half. USC's defense picked things up in the second half while the Trojans moved into the lead. Penn would finish out the game shooting 38.3 percent from the floor, still outpacing USC's 35.6 percent. But the Trojans controlled the boards 52-33 and scored 21 points off second-chance points to keep the Quakers at bay.

Marshall and Kadi Sissoko both tallied double-doubles today to lead the Trojans comeback effort. Marshall made it a career day in setting new career highs with her 19 points and 18 rebounds, and Sissoko kept up her scoring pace with 18 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Destiny Littleton also hit double figures again with her 13 points, and Okako Adika hauled in a career-high 12 rebounds for the Trojans. Penn was paced by four players in double digits today: Simone Sawyer (18 points), Kayla Padilla (13), Floor Toonders (10) and Mandy McGurk (10).

The Quakers set the pace in the first quarter while USC's shooting woes had the Trojans at just 22 percent from the floor through the first 10 minutes. A late 3-pointer from Destiny Littleton made it a 12-10 deficit at the end of the first, but Penn punched up a 7-0 run to put its host behind 19-10 just a minute into the second frame. Rayah Marshall finished a putback to stop the rally and get USC a much-needed scoring spark. A bucket from Kadi Sissoko cut the margin to 19-15 at 7:25, but the Quakers nailed their fourth 3-pointer of the half to get up 22-15. The Trojans went to work from there, though. A 3-pointer from Alyson Miura gave the Trojans a boost, and after a three-point play from Destiny Littleton and another score from Sissoko it was a tied score at 26-26.  

USC had a little space created early in the first, but that 38-35 lead turned quickly into a back-and-forth battle that saw the lead trade hands eight times. Another three from Miura bumped USC up 48-46 with 3:40 on the clock in the third. USC would get some stops in the next stretch and added Marshall free throws and a bucket by Littleton to grip a 52-46 advantage entering the fourth. That USC scoring rally extended to an 11-0 run that had the Trojans up by 10 at 56-46 with 8:45 remaining. As Marshall worked her way into a career day, USC ballooned its advantage to 64-43 on Sissoko's 18th points of the day with 1:45 left to play. The Trojans would fend off the Quakers in the final stretch to close out the final 66-60 win.

NEXT:  
USC continues its home stand with a 1 p.m. meeting against Utah State on Saturday (Nov. 26) at Galen Center.

NOTABLE:
- With a career-high 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds today, SO Rayah Marshall recorded her ninth career double-double (third this season). 
- With five blocks today, Marshall extended her streak to 28 straight games with at least one block.
- GS Kadi Sissoko recorded her first double-double as a Trojan with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
- Sissoko scored in double digits for the fifth straight game.
- With 13 points tonight, GS Destiny Littleton scored in double digits for the fifth straight game.

- GS Okako Adika set a new career high with 12 rebounds today.
- USC entered this game ranked No. 8 in the nation for scoring defense (45.2 points allowed).
- SR Alyson Miura played her first game of the season today, hitting two 3-pointers.