USC welcomes UC Berkeley at home Friday

Senior guard Desiree Caldwell gives a high five during USC’s 68-58 loss against UCLA last Sunday.
Senior guard Desiree Caldwell gives a high five during USC’s 68-58 loss against UCLA last Sunday. (Patrick Hannan | Daily Trojan)

USC is set to host UC Berkeley Friday in its first and only matchup against the Golden Bears this season. The Trojans are in the middle of a four-game losing streak after playing UCLA twice and Oregon, Oregon State.

USC is 2-6 against conference opponents and 9-9 on the season overall, having won the last three matchups against Cal. The Trojans have a two-game homestand this weekend with an opportunity to get back in the win column.

“We had a team meeting where we discussed what’s been happening as far as the games go,” said senior guard Desiree Caldwell in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “We decided it’s time to come together and really lock in on this upcoming weekend.”

USC looks to play a much cleaner game against the Golden Bears compared to its play against Oregon. The Trojans shot just 26.3% from the field and 23.5% from the 3-point line. USC also committed 17 turnovers compared to 10 for the Ducks, while also getting out rebounded 42 to 32. 

The game ended in an 80-48 loss, the largest this season for the Trojans.

Throughout the past four games, shooting has proved to be a prevalent issue for USC, with a field goal percentage of 32.8% and just 21.7% from three.

“We need to make sure that we just make shots against zone,” Caldwell said. “We struggled against Oregon and Oregon State with their zones, so we know that upcoming teams will probably zone us as well, so we’re just prepping for that.”

The Trojans will face a Cal team battling through some rust. The Golden Bears have not played a game since Jan. 21 after having their last three games scheduled before Friday’s matchup postponed.

Since the beginning of January, Cal has had seven games postponed and come into this matchup having only played two games. The Golden Bears’ 9-5 record is good for 11th in the Pac-12. 

A matchup to look forward to in this game is between USC sophomore forward Jordyn Jenkins and Cal freshman guard Jayda Curry. 

Jenkins is the leading scorer for the Trojans, averaging 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game on 54.4% shooting from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc. Jenkins has proven a threat to scoring the ball from the perimeter, making shots from the mid range area and finishing shots at the basket to provide consistent scoring for the Trojans’ offense.

On the other end, Curry averages 20.3 points per game on 42.3% shooting from the field. She is the highest scoring freshman in the country, coming off a season high 30-point performance in the team’s last game against No. 2 Stanford.

Friday night’s game will also be Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s first opportunity to coach against her former school — she served as the head coach of the Golden Bears women’s basketball team from 2012 to 2019.

“Lindsay … had a historic legacy [at Cal],” Caldwell said. “We’re excited to go ahead and get a win while she’s wearing a Trojan uniform.”

The two-game homestand for USC begins Friday at 7 p.m.