A lot can change in two weeks.
The USC women’s basketball team was riding high 10 days ago after a convincing win over Oregon State. Winners of five straight games, the Women of Troy had a firm grasp on second place in the conference and were poised to enter the national rankings.
Three losses later, the Women of Troy (13-9, 7-4) must now find a way to regroup after turning in the worst offensive performance in school history. USC scored just 10 points in the first half before ultimately falling 77-39 to No. 2 Stanford.
“We got walloped by the second best team in the country,” USC coach Michael Cooper said. “We were playing well against them defensively and we needed to hit our shots, especially early on, and we didn’t do that.”
The loss capped off a bad weekend for USC, which gave away a winnable game at California before running into a buzz saw at Stanford (21-1, 11-0).
The first 20 minutes were full of missed opportunities for USC. Stanford was largely ineffective on offense for much of the first half, but the Women of Troy were unable to take advantage. USC missed 28 of its 31 field goal attempts in the first half.
“I thought our defense was good, but they are a very strong, smart team, and it was just going to be a matter of time before they figured it out,” Cooper said.
One of the few bright spots for USC was the play of redshirt junior guard Jacki Gemelos. Gemelos was active in her second game back for the Women of Troy, attacking the basket and finishing with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds.
“This weekend definitely was bittersweet,” Gemelos said. “I wish we could have come up here and earned two wins instead of the losses. But it definitely felt great to get out there and finally play,”
USC scrapped and fought all game against a much larger opponent but could not overcome one of its worst shooting performances in memory. The Women of Troy finished the game shooting under 20 percent.
Sophomore guard Ashley Corral shot 1 of 11 from the field and finished with just four points, nearly 13 points below her season average.
Three players for Stanford collected double-doubles including Junior Kayla Pedersen who finished with game highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Stanford ended the first half on an 18-2 run and took a 29-10 lead into the break. The Cardinal outrebounded USC 59-32.
“We have to put things back on track,” Cooper said. “We are going to go home and prepare for a difficult game on the road at UCLA.”
With the loss, USC fell to third place in the conference behind Stanford and UCLA. The Women of Troy take on UCLA next week at Pauley Pavilion.