USC Women Close The Gap But Fall Short At Oregon 69-60|
Feb. 21, 2016
EUGENE, ORE. — The USC women’s basketball team carved a 15-point deficit down to two to heap pressure on host Oregon, but the Ducks would win out from the line in the end as the Trojans fell 69-60 in Eugene today. USC goes to 18-10 overall and 6-10 in Pac-12 play with the loss, while Oregon moves to 20-7, 9-7.
Effective in the first frame, the Trojans stalled out in the second as Oregon heated up and USC fouls and turnovers built up. USC’s 58-percent shooting was trimmed down to 44 percent by halftime, while Oregon warmed from 31 percent to 52 percent as the Ducks overcame a seven-point deficit to lead 32-26 at the break. After a rough third period for the Trojans, USC was staring at a 52-37 hole. With work from Kristen Simon and threes from Courtney Jaco and Khaedin Taito, USC was able to muster up some scoring. The Trojans would cut the Oregon lead down to two with 1:45 left to play, but the Ducks would hold on and finish out the game from the free-throw line to wrap the game as an Oregon victory. The Ducks shot 53 percent from the floor and was 16-of-23 from the free-throw line. USC was 38 percent from the floor and went 9-of-14 from the stripe. The Trojans ended up out rebounding the Ducks 32-31 in the game on a well-balanced effort on the boards. Simon would lead the scoring charge for USC with 19 points, and Jaco finished up with 11 for the Trojans, nailing a trio of threes in the process. Oregon got 26 points from Maite Cazorla and a double-double from Jilian Alleyne with 23 points and 18 rebounds.
USC opened up with Kristen Simon finishing off a couple feeds down low. Oregon would equalize at 4-4, only to see Courtney Jaco land a 3-pointer to tug the Trojans into an early 7-4 lead by the midway point of the first frame. After Khaedin Taito drilled a baseline jumper to take USC ahead 9-4, the USC defense put the Ducks up against the shot clock to neutralize Oregon’s next possession. Minutes later, Jaco had another 3-pointer lying in wait, and Marguerite Effa joined the scoresheet next as the Trojans took a 14-7 lead at 2:07. By the buzzer, USC was holding a 16-9 advantage over the Ducks. Oregon would carve down the USC lead in the early goings of the second quarter, making a 7-0 scoring spurt to level the game at 18-18 with 7:49 on the clock. Oregon would get tagged with its first foul of the game at 7:40 in the second, while USC was handed its sixth and seventh just seconds later. The lead would trade hands back and forth for the next until Oregon began to benefit from a tipping foul count against the Trojans. As the foul discrepancy climbed to 10-2, Oregon heated up for a push to a 29-24 lead with 3:15 to go in the half. Sadie Edwards delivered her first points next to cut it to 29-26, but Oregon would move ahead 32-26 by the halftime buzzer.
The Ducks would drain two big 3-pointers and manufacture another 7-0 surge to craft a 42-31 lead on the Trojans with 6:20 on the clock. USC would silence the Ducks for over three minutes, but the Trojans would only manage three points of their own in that stretch. Oregon broke its silence with another six straight points, and USC’s deficit would expand to a 52-37 hole by the close of the third. The Trojans would get in a long-awaited groove next, though. USC made a 10-2 rally with some firepower coming on threes from Sadie Edwards and Khaedin Taito to get the margin down to single digits, with USC trailing 54-47 with 7:45 on the clock. A clutch 3-pointer from Jaco got the Trojans within four, down 60-56 with 2:46 to go, and Simon delivered down low to cut it to a two-point margin at 1:45. Oregon fired back with a bucket down low, and after two near-misses from 3-point range by the Trojans, USC was forced to foul. Oregon hit a pair form the stripe, and USC was down 64-58 with 43 seconds left. One last score from Fagbenle could not counter the Ducks’ efforts from the free-throw line down the stretch, however, and USC was left with a 69-60 loss to the Ducks in Eugene.
USC now returns home for their final pair of Pac-12 regular-season matchups. The Trojans first will host Arizona State in a 6 p.m. clash on Friday (Feb. 26) at Galen Center. USC’s regular season will conclude on Sunday (Feb. 28) with a 2 p.m. game against Arizona. The Trojans will honor their graduating seniors, Brianna Barrett and Temi Fagbenle, at Sunday’s game. That day will also mark USC’s A Day In Troy event.