The Women of Troy lost for the first time this season on the road to No. 20 Oklahoma State, who outshot USC on their way to an 82-51 route.
The Cowgirls (5-0) shot an impressive 47 percent from the field in the first half that put USC (3-1), who shot 35 percent through 20 minutes, in a big hole early. By halftime, the Cowgirls had doubled up Troy at 44-22. USC only recorded two field goals through the first five minutes of play, consisting of two baskets by junior guard Ariya Crook and senior forward Cassie Harberts.
Crook was the only USC player to enter into double digits with 12 points for the game on 5-of-16 shooting. She also struggled from long range, going 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. Harberts and junior forward Alexyz Vaioletama both dropped in eight points a piece. Vaioletama also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Women of Troy, Oklahoma State’s hot shooting would carry over to the second half and would finish the game shooting a red-hot 52 percent. USC ended up shooting around 33 percent for the game and would also get beat on the boards, losing the rebounding battle 39 to 29, mainly because the Cowgirls wouldn’t miss very many shots.
Oklahoma State had four players in double figures, led by the 22 points of guard Brittney Martin, who added 10 rebounds as well to give herself a double-double. Center Kendra Suttles would also grab a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
USC’s poor shooting coupled with the Cowgirls’ offensive outburst resulted in multiple Oklahoma State runs that the Women of Troy were ultimately unable to overcome. They would never hold a lead in the game.
The first of these runs came at the beginning of the game when the Cowgirls jumped out to a 20-4 lead with 12:48 remaining in the first half.
The Women of Troy would fight back before Oklahoma State went on a 12-0 run to further increase the USC deficit to 26 points, 37-11 with a little under five minutes remaining. During that run, USC was held from scoring for just over four minutes.
Turnovers would not help out the Women of Troy either, as 19 of them led to 26 points for Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls had trouble taking care of the ball as well with 13 of their own, but USC struggled to capitalize, turning them into only eight points.
Junior forward Kaneisha Horn, who transferred from Alabama, played her first minutes as a Trojan and went three-of-four from the charity stripe.
Even with the loss, new head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has USC off to their best start since the 1998-99 season with wins against UC Davis, Fresno State and San Diego State.
“Growth is the goal,” Cooper-Dyke said. “I want our team to get better every game, every practice, so we are peaking at the right time in the season.”
The Women of Troy will return home to face off against another ranked opponent in No. 19-ranked South Carolina Monday at the Galen Center. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.
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