The Women of Troy (9-6, 4-1) return to the Galen Center to take on the Ducks (10-8, 2-4) tonight at 7 p.m.
Following USC’s 47-43 victory over UCLA at the John Wooden Center on Saturday, the Women of Troy have a chance to continue their strong conference play and maintain their second-place standing behind Stanford (15-1, 6-0) and ahead of California (13-5, 4-2) in the Pac-12.
Oregon will come to the Galen Center averaging the 16th most points in the nation with 76.3 points per game, led by guard/forward Jasmin Holliday. To dispel the Ducks’ offense, USC hopes to maintain its reliable 3-point shot and efficient fastbreak game.
“We’re going to have to run them off the 3-point line and make them beat us with two’s,” senior guard Briana Gilbreath said. “We also have to limit our turnovers. Any team that likes to transition will take your turnovers and turn them into points.”
On the other end, however, the Ducks give up 78.1 points per game. The Women of Troy hope to exploit a shaky defense that has allowed at least 80 points in three of their last four games.
“We are a very difficult matchup for most teams because we shoot the ball very well and we have a lot of different sets,” USC associate head coach Laura Beeman said. “[We will] set some screens, move the ball around, let the ball find the open person and run right back at them.”
One of the key members of the USC offense has been senior guard Ashley Corral, who became the No. 5 all-time assists leader for the Women of Troy in their win over the Bruins. She nearly notched a triple-double in a 10-point, eight-rebound and eight-assist effort.
Corral’s emphasis on facilitating a balanced offense has encouraged a selfless mindset that the team has embraced.
“We’re really good at finding who’s open and I think we’ve done a really good job this season sharing the basketball and getting everyone involved,” Corral said.
The Women of Troy are 3-1 at home. Their last game at the Galen Center resulted in a 20-point thrashing over California on Dec. 31. As for Oregon, they have yet to win a game on the road and have gone 4-8 after winning their first six games of the season.
USC has plenty of momentum with its longest win streak of the season, but the Women of Troy are being careful not to place too much pride on their recent success.
“We are where we should be, so it’s one step at a time, one game at a time,” Corral said. “I wouldn’t say we’re excited. We’re just looking forward to the future.”