USC Women Go Down To The Wire With BC Silute In Rome

    Aug. 18, 2016

    Rome, Italy — The USC women’s basketball team followed up an inspirational tour of Vatican City today with some competition in Rome against Lithuanian club team BC Silute. The Women of Troy would craft a 12-point lead during the first half, only to see Silute reign them in. USC got into a seven-point hole with three minutes remaining and fought back, equalizing on a pair of Jordan Adams free throws with 20 seconds left. Silute would get the last word, however, nailing the winner from the paint with just three seconds on the clock and netting a 66-64 win over the Trojans.

    Kristen Simon led the team in scoring, hitting double digits for the second time in this Italian tour, which has put the Trojans up against three very different teams. Against the athletic and experienced crew from Lithuania, Simon delivered 12 points, followed by nine from Jordan Adams and eight from freshman Valerie Higgins. BC Silute was strong on the boards to limit USC’s second chances, while the Trojans struggled from the line in this preseason test, going 14-of-28 from the stripe as the Lithuanian squad maneuvered into position.

    In the first frame, the Women of Troy distributed their scoring among seven players to present a balanced front and overcome an early deficit. It was Valerie Higgins’ three-point play that righted the course for the Trojans, who later manufactured a 7-0 scoring run to pad out their first-frame lead to 20-14 after 10 minutes of action despite a foul-peppered quarter. In the second frame, USC deepened that deficit for BC Silute thanks in part to some slick ball distribution from Minyon Moore. Midway through the second, USC was enjoying a 12-point lead on a slick jumper from Kristen Simon. The Lithuanians fired back with a 6-0 rally that trimmed down the Trojan advantage in the next stretch. After Ivana Jakubcova nailed a three for USC, BC Silute answered right back with a three of their own before dropping another bucket to close the half with USC ahead 38-33.



    BC Silute was able to nudge ever closer to the Trojans in the third quarter, eventually wrapping the frame with back-to-back buckets to make it a two-point game entering the final 10 minutes. That momentum carried right into the fourth, as the Lithuanian team nailed a quick 3-pointer to take its first lead since the first minute of the contest. A 12-3 run by Silute all but sealed the deal, leaving USC scrambling to get its feet back under it. Adams slipped in her second bucket of the fourth to get the Trojans a spark with 3:16 to go, tugging it to a five-point margin. Aliyah Mazyck and Higgins would hit a single free throw apiece in the next stretch to cut the deficit to three, and Simon followed a Silute score with a bucket in the paint. Moore hit the front end of her trip to the line with 45 seconds left, and Higgins would nab a clutch steal soon after. Sent to the line with 20 ticks to go, Adams equalized at 64-64. But Silute was able to net the winner with three seconds on the clock, grabbing a 66-64 comeback win over the 2016-17 Women of Troy.

    USC now sets up for its final full day in Rome tomorrow (August 19) to cap off a captivating 10-day trip to Italy.