The Trojans fell to No. 8 Oregon State 63-53 on Friday night, marking the end of the team’s Pac-12 tournament play. Despite rallying several times, the Trojans were unable to outmatch the 3-point shooting to overcome an early deficit.
Oregon State opened the game with a 7-run to jump out to an 8-2 lead within the first three minutes of the game. Despite several strong plays from junior Kristen Simon and sophomore Sadie Edwards, the Trojans were unable to keep up the scoring pace and fell behind 18-8.
USC chipped away at that lead several times — bringing the score within 6 several times — but consistent 3 shots from Oregon State disrupted the Trojans’ rhythm. But the end of the quarter saw the Trojans bounce back, when freshman Aliyah Mazyck sparked an offensive surge. Edwards finished the half with a converted 3-point play, cutting the deficit to only 6 points.
Despite carrying that momentum into the locker room, Oregon State came back with dominating offense to start the second half. After knocking down two 3s and another bucket, the Beavers took a 44-33 lead and held onto it for the rest of the half. Like the first half, the Trojans were able to chip away at Oregon State’s lead, bringing it down to seven or eight points on a few occasions, but it wasn’t enough to keep up against the high-powered Beavers’ shooting.
At the end of the game, Oregon State dropped nine 3s against the Trojans’ three and held USC’s leading scorer Temi Fagbenle to only 10 points and six rebounds. Without Fagbenle producing her normal amount of points, Edwards stepped up to deliver 20 points.
As a total, the Trojans shot only 38 percent against Oregon State’s 53 percent. The disparity in effectiveness from the floor was the ultimate downfall for the Trojans, as they ended their run in the tournament and fell to 19-13 overall against the highly-ranked Oregon State squad.