After two tough losses at home, the women’s basketball team turned things around in Washington this weekend by finishing with two victories. Friday’s game against Washington State came down to the wire after the Trojans made a huge comeback from behind.
On Sunday afternoon, USC continued its momentum with a convincing 72-61 win over Washington.
It was the Trojans’ defense that made the difference in both games. Against WSU, the Trojans were down in the fourth quarter until a combined effort from the team finally gave them a 4-point lead. When WSU drained a 3-pointer, got a stop and the defensive rebound, they had a chance to take it all. However, USC would not back down, and played strong, clean defense to secure the win.
“I mean we knew from the beginning that our defense was what was going to win us basketball games and that’s what we do,” Adams said. “When our offense isn’t working or we’re feeling like we aren’t doing what we are supposed to do, take care of things offensively, we just know that if we lock in and play defense and get these stops, we can win games.”
They carried over that defensive fire from the final minutes on Friday into Sunday’s game against Washington. From the beginning of the game, USC was aggressive without picking up too many fouls. At the end of the first quarter, the Trojans had held Washington to only 6 points. By halftime, Washington had only managed to score 13 more points, while the Trojans finished with 40 to go into the locker room with a 21-point lead.
“Our defense was really good,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We came back in the last six minutes [on Friday] and today we played great defense in the first half and we did a real good job. We got a lot of steals, converted it to a lot of layups, so it was good.”
One of the most impressive factors of the games this weekend is that the starting five players are averaging more minutes than their opponents’ starters. However, the Trojans are maintaining their fighting spirit until the end, giving everything they have without falling into sloppy or lazy defense due to fatigue. Instead, they are digging deep, still taking long range shots, and still battling for every rebound.
“With our starting five, it’s just pure will and power,” Adams said. “It is just really mental for us. A lot of people, they think we were not mentally strong, but I know this team and we’re tough, tough as nails, and we’re really showing that this year and people can tell that.
Next, the Trojans will face UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Friday.
“It’s good to come home with two wins” Trakh said. “We have the big rivalry game against UCLA, so we will see what happens.”