Women of Troy Kick Off Homecoming Weekend With 85-39 Exhibition Win Over Cal State LA|
Nov. 4, 2016
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The USC women’s basketball team kicked off homecoming weekend with a true reunion tonight, welcoming home Trojan great Cheryl Miller for USC’s exhibition clash against Cal State LA. Miller is in her first year at the helm of CSULA, and her trip to Troy tonight marked a rare opportunity for two former NCAA championship teammates and fellow Hall of Famers to face off. Miller and USC head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke were reunited on the court of their shared alma mater, with a pregame ceremony held to honor Miller’s visit to Troy. At the final buzzer, USC had posted an 85-39 victory over the visiting Golden Eagles after a well-balanced performance by the Women of Troy. USC’s first official game comes up next week as the Trojans host Hawai’i at 5 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 11) at Galen Center.
A hot first quarter gave way to a cooler second frame as both teams stepped up their defensive games. USC would wrap the first half shooting 35 percent to CSULA’s 18 percent, but the Trojans would get back into high gear for the second half. As senior Courtney Jaco kept clicking off threes — finishing with five on the night — Kristen Simon worked her way up to a 20-point outing. USC wrapped the game shooting 50 percent from the floor to CSULA’s 25 percent, and had four Trojans score in double figures. Simon’s 20 was followed up by 17 form Jaco, while USC freshmen Minyon Moore and Ja’Tavia Tapley hit double digits as well with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Banging the boards for the Trojan cause was senior Jordan Adams, who had 10 by halftime and finished up with 11 rebounds in USC’s winning exhibition effort. USC also nabbed 16 steals and dished out 28 assists in the win, led by Aliyah Mazyck’s seven assists. Cal State LA received a team-high 11 points from Madison Adams.
The Women of Troy opened up the game with a 3-pointer care of Courtney Jaco, lighting up a 7-0 scoring run for USC. A three from Jordan Adams provided another spark for the Trojans, who got a three-point play from Kristen Simon next to click USC’s advantage up to 14-4. Adams would later haul in her fifth rebound of the quarter, finding Minyon Moore for a fast break runner and a three-point play in the final minute. The final touches of the quarter came from Jaco, who drained another three to close out the first 10 minutes with USC holding a 22-6 advantage.
The second frame saw a slow start by both teams, with CSULA registering the first points of the quarter with a trip to the line. USC would up its defensive pressure next, as Adams and Moore both nabbed steals that ended up in USC scores to build a 26-8 USC lead midway through the second. Asiah Jones would clean up a rare miss from Jaco and earn herself a trip to the stripe for two more Trojan points to make it 28-10 USC with 2:10 to go in the half. That would do it for the USC scoring in this stretch, with CSULA closing out the half with a steal and finish to make it a 28-13 USC lead at the break.
Jaco opened the second half just like she did the first, nailing a three for the Trojan cause. Aliyah Mazyck matched that next, and USC had crafted an early 34-13 lead to open the third quarter. Minutes later, after Kristen Simon had delivered back-to-back buckets, Jaco would drain her third three. That was followed quickly by Jordan Adams’ 10th rebound of the game, which set off Jaco on a fast break for the finish and a 46-19 USC lead at the midway point of the third. Both teams were enjoying improved offensive output, but the Trojans were clicking off scores and a higher rate. Simon’s point total kept climbing as she pair two scores down low with a pair of free throws to account for USC’s last six points of the third. CSULA struck late, and the frame closed down with USC gripping a 59-31 lead over the Golden Eagles.
USC kept coming in the fourth frame. Jaco’s 3-point count ran up to five as she hit again from distance to build a 64-31 lead early on. Simon would find Ja’Tavia Tapley for an impressive setup and finish for a 71-33 lead. Soon after that, Moore would dished out a sweet pass for a finish from Mazyck off an interception from Ivana Jakubcova, and the Trojans stayed the course the rest of the way. Candela Abejón knocked down a three with 4 minutes to go, becoming the ninth Trojan to score and taking USC ahead 80-33.
Next up for the Women of Troy is a season-opening doubleheader with the USC men. USC’s first official game brings Hawai’i to town for a 5 p.m. opener on Friday (Nov. 11), followed up by an 8 p.m. USC men’s game.