Women of Troy dominated by Oregon State on the road

The USC women’s basketball team fell 76-52 to No. 7 Oregon State Friday night in Corvallis, Ore. as the Beavers used a combination of great defense and hot shooting to defeat the Trojans.

USC (18-9, 6-9) was unable to muster up much offense against a tough defensive frontcourt anchored by senior Ruth Hamblin.

Pac-12 leader Oregon State (23-3, 14-1) came into today as one of the best defensive teams in the country and the Beavers lived up to their reputation tonight, limiting the Women of Troy to 17-of-63 shooting and forcing 11 turnovers.

Hamblin, Oregon State’s career leader in blocks, wrecked havoc defensively for the Beavers. As she has all season, Hamblin protected the rim valiantly and limited USC’s ability to score inside, finishing with five blocks and 13 rebounds.

“Ruth Hamblin is one of the premier defensive players in the country,” head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said. “She contested every shot that was in the paint.”

Freshman guard Aliyah Mazyck was one of the few bright spots for the Trojans, finishing with 17 points.

The frontcourt duo of senior Temi Fagbenle and sophomore Kristen Simon struggled throughout the game, combining for 10 points on 3-of-21 shooting.

Oregon State came out of the half on fire, jumping out to an 8-0 run and extending its six-point halftime lead to 37-23. The Beavers moved the ball effectively, leading to open jumpers and easy layups. USC struggled to score with Hamblin protecting the rim valiantly, stifling the Women of Troy’s ability to attack the rim. Oregon State was unstoppable in the third quarter, hitting multiple jumpers, and outscoring USC 27-12.

In a fourth quarter that was not competitive, the Women of Troy were unable to cut into the lead with the Beavers continuing their hot shooting into the fourth quarter. The Beavers extended the lead to a game-high 27 on a 3-pointer by Taylor Kalmer with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans struggled offensively to start the game but they were able to keep things close with their aggressive defense and relentless hustle. After trailing throughout the first quarter, the Women of Troy were able to tie the game with two minutes remaining in the quarter on a tough layup by Sadie Edwards. It was an ugly first quarter with both teams shooting below 30 percent and finishing with a meager nine points.

The action picked up in the second quarter with both teams shooting the ball much better. USC took its first and only lead of the game on its first possession of the second quarter on a put-back by Fagbenle. But the Beavers quickly responded with an 8-0 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers by senior Deven Hunger and freshman Taylor Kalmer to take a 17-13 lead. The Women of Troy were unable to muster up a run of their own and finished the half trailing 29-23.

It was a tough game for the Women of Troy as they suffered their largest loss of the season. The team not only had trouble on offense but they also struggled on the defensive end as Oregon State’s ball movement left USC scrambling.

“We’ve got to get back to our basics of playing defense and running,” Cooper-Dyke said. “We’ve got to be able to execute our game-plan for 40 minutes.”

USC next heads to Eugene to play a Ducks team coming off a loss to No. 12 UCLA.