Sunday night’s rout of Nevada marked the women’s basketball team’s fourth blowout win of over 20 points. It looks to notch its seventh win in its undefeated season against Fresno State Wednesday at home.
After losing its first game of the season in opposing territory, Fresno State (3-1) has managed to regroup, winning the last three games with the average margin of victory around 15 points.
In each of those three wins, the Bulldogs were led by some iteration of sophomore forward Maddi Utti, sophomore guard Bree Delaney and senior guard Candice White. The trio accounts for 42 of the team’s 71 points per game.
The trio will face its toughest match to date, as Wednesday’s matchup against USC will be the Bulldogs’ first road game since their season-opening 86-73 loss to Northern Arizona and their Power 5 opponent of the 2018-19 season.
In her five years as head coach of Fresno State, White has a 1-5 record against Power 5 opponents; her last win came in 2014-15 against Oregon. The 2014-15 season was also the last time White and the Bulldogs squared off against USC, losing 68-56. White knows the obstacle ahead of her team is one they’re not accustomed to facing.
“We are going to go down and play really a hard, quick and athletic team down at USC,” White said. “I just want us to have poise and confidence walking in there.”
There has been a lid on the basket for all USC opponents this season, as the Trojan defense has yet to allow the opposition to come close to shooting 40 percent from the field. The Women of Troy are sixth in the nation in defensive rankings, limiting opponents to less than 50 points a night.
Although not as elite as the defense anchored by senior point guard Aliyah Mazyck and junior point guard Minyon Moore, the Trojan offense is far from run-of-the-mill. Thanks to the double-digit scoring averages of Mazyck, Minyon Moore, senior guard Mariya Moore and redshirt freshman guard Shalexxus Aaron, the Trojans have been blowing opponents out.
“National attention is great, but I really don’t care about that,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We’ve just got to keep playing well and keep up what we’re doing. We can’t become distracted.”
The lack of national recognition surrounding the Trojans comes with the fact that their undefeated season has come while facing opponents with a combined 12-24 record. However Trakh and Co. will have ample opportunity to prove that their hot start is more than just an easy out-of-conference scheduling.
“It’s not going to get any easier, as you see how hard our schedule is going to become,” Trakh said. “All of a sudden, we’re going to start playing teams like Texas A&M, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, and Oregon.”
Tip-off will be 5 p.m. at Galen Center Wednesday.