Newcomers Shine In USC Women's 58-54 Win Over Arizona|
Jan. 27, 2017
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team fought off the visiting Wildcats to snap a seven-game skid with a key Pac-12 win over Arizona tonight at Galen Center. New Trojans Ivana Jakubcova, Minyon Moore and Ja'Tavia Tapley each hit double digits in the 58-54 USC victory, with both Jakubcova and Tapley generating season-high outings to help the Women of Troy lock up the win. USC improves to 11-9 overall and 2-7 in Pac-12 play, while Arizona is now even with the Trojans at 11-9, 2-7.
USC shot at a 43-percent clip in the first half of action, benefiting from a 12-0 rally in the second quarter to manufacture a 31-19 halftime advantage. Arizona shot 32 percent in those first 20 minutes, interrupted by eight USC steals in the first half. USC lead out on the boards 20-14 by halftime, while USC newcomers Ja'Tavia Tapley and Ivana Jakubcova led the way with a combined 16 points and eight rebounds at the break. USC would lead by as much as 17 during the third quarter, but that advantage was trimmed to four in the final minute as the turnover count tipped against the Trojans. Still, USC was able to hang on for the win, netting just enough free throws down the stretch to fend off the Wildcats. USC wrapped the game shooting 39 percent from the floor, just ahead of Arizona's 38 percent. USC won out on the boards 39-27, but committed 23 turnovers to 20 by the Wildcats in the game.
UCS received a game-high and career-high 15 points from freshman Ja'Tavia Tapley, while senior transfer Ivana Jakubcova registered her first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Minyon Moore also hit double figures with 12 points in the game, joined by senior Courtney Jaco with 11 points for the Trojan cause. Tapley and Jaco each nabbed three steals for the Trojans, and Tapley issued three blocks. Arizona was paced by 13 points from Malena Washington and 10 apiece from LaBrittney Jones and Dejza James.
The Trojans took turns making a stand in the first half of play, with freshman Ja'Tavia Tapley scoring seven points in the first seven minutes to help USC build an 11-5 lead on the Wildcats. Courtney Jaco landed a three next -- the 194th of her Trojan career -- and then Asiah Jones dropped the past points of the first quarter in the bucket to build a 16-8 USC lead. In the second quarter, USC suffered a cold snap, going 0-for-6 from the floor while Arizona closed the gap and leveled the game at 17-17 with 4:40 on the clock. The Trojans would catch a scoring spark from Minyon Moore, who converted on a bucket in the paint and then issued two assists to help light the fuse on a 12-0 USC scoring rally. Sadie Edwards and Ivana Jakubcova drained back-to-back threes in that run, which lifted USC to a 29-17 advantage. Arizona would snap the run, but Jakubcova scored her seventh straight points to close out the half as a 31-19 USC lead.
After a 6-0 run, USC's scoring hit the skids for a few minutes until Jaco converted a 3-point play for the Trojans. That bulked up USC's lead to 40-24 with 3:15 on the clock in the third. Arizona would benefit from a string of USC turnovers to close out the half, though, scoring the final six points to cut USC's one-17-point lead down to 10 as USC was up 40-30 entering the fourth frame. Arizona would carve that USC lead down to single digits in the final three minutes and make it a four-point margin on a 9-0 rally that made it 54-50 Trojans with 37 seconds left. The rest of the game would play out on the free-throw line, with USC going 4-of-8 in that remaining stretch but still able to hold its advantage in closing out a 58-54 win.
The Trojans now turn to face No. 16 Arizona State in an effort to drum up an important win in the Pac-12 race. USC hosts the Sun Devils at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 29) at Galen Center.
USC 58, ARIZONA 54