Before his team’s last game, USC women’s basketball coach Michael Cooper said he liked the toughness his players had demonstrated early in the season.
“I’m liking our intensity level as far as coming out and playing hard,” Cooper said. “I like our resilience for being able to bounce back after we take some good hits from people.”
The Women of Troy (1-2) will need to bounce back in a big way over the holiday break after turning in a disappointing performance against Gonzaga. USC shot less than 30 percent from the field in a 70-58 loss that was not as close as the final score indicated.
The high-scoring Bulldogs score nearly 90 points per game and have won their first four games by an average of 40 points.
USC gets a chance to rebound at the Pearl Jam Tournament in the US Virgin Islands, where it will take on a trio of highly ranked teams in round-robin action.
First up on the docket for the Women of Troy is a Thanksgiving Day game against Rutgers, which sits just outside the top 25 in the AP poll. After that, USC will take on No. 13 Texas before finishing against No. 19 Mississippi State.
If the Women of Troy want to have success in the tournament, they need to shore up another problem area — rebounding. Cooper said last week that the team had struggled to come up with key rebounds.
“Rebounding is something that can be your Achilles heel,” he said. “If you don’t take care of that, it can cause you big problems down the stretch.”
Against Gonzaga, the Women of Troy gave up 19 offensive rebounds and 15 second-chance points.