Women of Troy drop two home games over weekend
After splitting the first two games in their four-game homestand, the USC womenâs basketball team had an opportunity to move up in the Pac-12 standings with matchups against the Utah Utes and No. 22 Colorado Buffaloes. But once again, the Trojanâs play in the second half was the story of the weekend, as they were defeated in both matchups after leading at halftime.
The Utes stumbled into the Galen Center, having lost eight of their last nine contests. They did not, however, show it against the Trojans; right off the bat, some clutch 3-point shooting had the Utes keeping pace. USC was still able to maintain a solid lead in the first half, leading 30-27. But the Women of Troy were unable to hold off Utah in the second half. The Utes shot 57 percent from the field and tacked on 13 points from the foul line to sink USC. Despite 19 points from forward Cassie Harberts, USC fell 63-60.
Colorado, too, was suffering from recent struggles before facing USC, with only a 4-5 conference record despite a top-25 ranking. Off the bat, Colorado made the Women of Troy work by dominating the boards and shooting well from the field. However, the Women of Troy were able to keep pace, taking advantage of some clutch 3-point shooting from junior forward Desiree Bradley. As a result, the Trojans entered the locker room at the half with a 31-26 lead.
For the second time this weekend, though, USC came out flat for the second half and Colorado was able to capitalize. Though USCâs defense held off the Buffalo attack at first, the ineffectiveness of the offense at the other end of the court spelled doom. Colorado opened the half on a 15-2 run and did not look back from there.
Buffalo guards Chucky Jeffery and Arielle Roberson led the attack with their sound shooting. They combined for 31 points in the game as well as 16 rebounds.Â Even with Harbertsâ 14 points and six rebounds, USC could not overcome the deficit and lost by a decisive score of 65-49.
âThey got into the paint a lot more than we did,â Harberts said. âWe knew coming into this game that Chucky Jeffery and Brittany Wilson are big rebounders for guards and we didnât execute well.â
In addition to rebounding, the large number of turnovers hurt the Trojans. Colorado jumped all over the poor passing of the Trojans, scoring 19 points off turnovers.
âItâs very frustrating,â Bradley said. âWe want to win at home and we want to show our fans that weâre playing for them as well as for ourselves. Itâs just something that we have to do better.â
The Women of Troy head north for their next two games, with important matchups against Washington State and Washington.