Women of Troy looking to make noise
At this point in the season, itâs all about who has the hot hand.
This unofficial law of March basketball bodes well for the Women of Troy. Currently riding a season-high six-game win streak, USC is liking its chances to make a deep run in this yearâs Pac-12 tournament.
âEverything is starting to click for us,â senior guard Briana Gilbreath said. âItâs all about putting it all together as one team, and hopefully we can keep that going.â
Though that sort of confidence is invaluable at any point in the season, it is almost a necessity during postseason play.
One bad night and the Women of Troy know that their season could be over.
âOur tournament started a few weeks ago,â Gilbreath said, alluding to the teamâs mentality following a loss to Stanford that preceded its current win streak. âRight now, weâre trying to go win a championship, and we canât afford to lose any games.â
Thanks to its current streak, USC shot up the Pac-12 standings during the final month of the regular season. After the loss to Stanford dropped their conference record to 6-6, the Women of Troy caught fire thanks to contributions from numerous players, including junior forward Christina Marinacci, who is coming off a stellar performance this past weekend against the Washington schools. She was rewarded by being named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
âYou can really tell that [the team is playing well] by the way we practice,â Marinacci said. âHopefully weâll carry it into the next game, whether we get Oregon State or Washington State.â
USCâs ascent to the top of the standings was rewarded with a first round bye, but the team hopes that the extra dayâs rest does not affect its game.
âFor us, we need to just focus on what weâre doing,â Marinacci said. âI donât think any other team can beat us, but we can definitely beat ourselves.â
The key to USCâs success during its run has been defense. The Women of Troy have held opponents to under 60 points in four of the last five games.
The Women of Troy will play Washington State, a team that finished 11th in the conference and won just five league games, entered the Pac-12 tournament having lost eight of its past nine games. The most recent of those losses was to USC on March 3.
Tipoff for Thursdayâs game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the Galen Center.