Getting closer: USC win over Oregon puts Trojans on doorstep of NCAA Tournament
USC Trojans couldn’t start the game on friday night against the Oregon Ducks is no worse than it really is. Well, technically they could, but in reality, they couldn’t have imagined a more gruesome sight. terrible first quarter.
USC landed just 3 of 17 shots in the first quarter and trailed Oregon 20–8. Shooting below 20 percent speaks for itself. Oregon was desperate for a win, having lost most of their last six games. The UO men’s team was desperate against the USC men on Thursday and it worked out well for the Ducks. It looked like the women of UO would have an equally successful night.
After one quarter it was hard to say otherwise.
The Women of Troy are not an elite or brilliant team, but they always excel at one thing: wrestling. This team is broken. This team is always invested in the work and gives maximum effort. This is an obvious difference in the USC hoops run by Lindsey Gottlieb after several seasons of wandering the desert.
USC held Oregon to 31 points in the last three quarters of the game and just 16 points in nearly 23 minutes to rally and take a 56–51 victory over the Ducks.
Oregon led 27-13 with 5:11 left in the second quarter. With 2:15 left in the game – 22 minutes and 56 seconds later – the Ducks scored just 43 points. The USC’s ability to completely block an enemy attack again brought the Trojans on a night when their attack was once again hampered.
USC made just 30 percent of his field goals, made only 61 percent of his free throws, and only scored four more goals (19) than the number of passes he made (15). They usually lose numbers, but not with this USC protection.
In attack, Okako Adika became the heroine of the evening. That evening, with teammates Kadi Sissoko (2-14) and Raya Marshall (3-14) combined to hit 5 of 28 field goals, Adika scored 18 huge points from four 3-pointers. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Destiny Littleton added 18 points to give USC enough offense to win. However, the defense of Gottlieb-Beth Burns was the bright star of the show.
USC held Oregon to 4 of 15 three-pointers and forced 16 passes. Oregon didn’t help themselves by making only 9 of 16 free throws in a five-point game.
With this win, USC moved significantly closer to the NCAA Tournament. Two more wins should be enough, and three more wins will make the Trojans a 100% guaranteed block. The women of Troy are closing in on their first NCAA Tournament entry since 2014.
With this kind of protection, they will definitely have a chance to win games in March Madness.