Fresno State hosts struggling Women of Troy

The USC women’s basketball team hopes to end its current three-game road stretch on a high note as it prepares for a bout against Fresno State on Wednesday.

Homecourt · Sophomore forward Alexyz Vaioletama has helped the Women of Troy win three home games. The team is 1-1 on the road, however. – Chris Pham | Daily Trojan

The Women of Troy (3-3) split the first two games of the road trip, beating UC Santa Barbara (2-5) 62-51 last Tuesday and losing to San Diego State (4-2) 80-46 on Friday.

USC committed 13 turnovers and 14 fouls in both games, but those were the only common statistic across the games. The Women of Troy shot 32 percent from the field against San Diego State and 49 percent against UC Santa Barbara. They were also out-rebounded 48-29 by the Aztecs, in contrast to outrebounding the Gauchos 28-22. It was the first game this season that USC was out-rebounded by its opponent.

“It’s in the back of our mind every time we get on the floor or watch film,” junior forward Desiree Bradley said. “In every aspect we take that game to get better.”

Junior forward Cassie Harberts, USC’s leading scorer and rebounder, has averaged 16.0 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game on the road trip, while sophomore guard Ariya Crook, USC’s second-leading scorer, is averaging 10 points per game on the road.

The Bulldogs (4-2) are led by guard Ki-Ki Moore, who is averaging 16.7 points and 6 rebounds per game, and Alex Sheedy, who is averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. They are currently in the third game of a four-game home stretch, beating Washington State 82-59 on Friday and UT Arlington 70-45 on Sunday.

“We’re really still a work in progress,” USC associate head coach Daron Park said. “There’s a lot of areas that we need to continue to address and work on to get better. … We spent a lot of time watching film, talking about what kind of team we want to be and how we want to do things and what we wanted to commit to doing to form our identity.”

USC and Fresno State met last season, with the Women of Troy winning 65-57. Harberts scored 14 points in the 2011 contest.

USC then returns to the Galen Center on Saturday, Dec. 15 to take on Texas A&M (3-3) at 12p.m. . They will then compete in the Women of Troy Classic at the Galen Center against UC Davis on Dec. 21st at 5 p.m. and against Duke on Dec. 22 at noon.