Women of Troy pull away in victory over Utes

Sadie Edwards was unstoppable today, making lay-ups, forcing turnovers, and hitting 3-pointers as the Women of Troy cruised to a 70-59 victory over host Utah on the road Friday night.

The sophomore guard led all scorers with a season-high 24 points to go along with four steals and a pair of blocks.

“I was just aggressive from the start. I didn’t settle for jump-shots,” Edwards said. “I tried to get a lot of things going to the rim and put pressure on the defense.”

Teammate Kristen Simon also had a great game, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds, including a key lay-up with 1:43 remaining to seal the victory for USC (16-5, 4-5). Star transfer Temi Fagbenle finished with eight points and 12 rebounds.

Both teams started off the game struggling to make baskets, however, both teams eventually hit their stride in a close first quarter in which no team held a lead larger than three. USC was able to extend the lead to six in the second quarter on a jumper by Edwards but Utah (12-8, 4-5) immediately countered with an 8-0 run to take a 31-29 lead.

It seemed like the Utes would end the half with a slim lead but Sadie Edwards used a step-back to shake her defender and hit a three to beat the buzzer, giving USC a 39-37 lead going into the half.

After trading baskets to start the second half, the Trojans were able to pull away in the second half with a 10-0 run to take a 56-43 lead. It seemed like the Women of Troy would cruise to a victory from there, but Utah went on an 8-0 run following a tough jumper by Edwards to cut the USC lead to just 61-57 with six minutes remaining in the game. Redshirt junior Alexis Lloyd was able to stop the bleeding with an and-1 layup and Trojans never looked back.

USC was the far more aggressive team on both ends of the floor Friday and the box score reflected this as the Women of Troy finished with more rebounds, steals, blocks, and free-throw attempts.

“We put a lot of pressure on their guards and their bigs by attacking the rim, offensive rebounding, and taking advantage of every opportunity we had to get the ball and just getting easier looks,” Edwards said.

Utah’s Malia Nawahine led the Utes with 14 points and fellow teammate Paige Crozon finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Star player Emily Potter, had 10 points but fouled out with seven minutes remaining in the game.

USC was again missing Jordan Adams and Brianna Barrett for the fifth consecutive game due to ineligibility. With the win, the Trojans move up into a tie for sixth in the Pac-12. The Pac-12 is arguably the toughest conference in the nation right now, currently ranking first in RPI.

USC hits the road again Sunday to play against Colorado, which is coming off an 82-64 loss to UCLA. Colorado has yet to win a game in conference play.