What an amazing weekend for USC women’s basketball. After boosting their national rankings and Pac-12 status with a titanic loss to Stanford’s heavyweight league, the Trojans became a notable team. Everyone wanted to beat them and knock them down. USC had to travel to Washington, first to Pullman on Friday and then to Seattle on Sunday. Washington State and Washington waited to ambush and throw the USC off course. Would this team let that happen?
No, although the University of Washington campus got very busy on Sunday afternoon.
USC, leading 54–49 with 15 seconds left, conceded two free throws, allowed a tying three-point shot and made the pass. The Trojans were supposed to celebrate in the locker room after 40 minutes of normal time. Instead, they had to start over in overtime and give up a game they couldn’t finish.
It was the ultimate mental test worthy of a team and program that learns to create a victorious personality. If this team was indeed made of special material and deserved to play in the NCAA Tournament, it had to go through hot embers of pressure and hardship. USC has made things difficult, but it’s a test that a team must overcome to be considered worthy of the tournament.
The Trojans have passed the test.
Former USC pitcher Randy Johnson would have been impressed with the USC women. They shut out Washington in overtime 9-0 to beat the Huskies 63-54. USC won the trip to Washington and is now 15-4 for the season, 5-3 in the Pac-12. USC is not the castle of the NCAA Tournament, but this team is getting close to getting a bid. The Trojans are now at a point, relative to the bubble, where if they avoid any major losses and get a few more quality wins, they should be fine.
USC’s elite defense forced Washington’s 22 passes and only allowed five attempts with three shots. Dalaya Daniels of Washington had a great game, converting 8 of 10 field goals. Aside from Daniels, the Washington players left the field 15 out of 49, which is just over 30 percent.
USC’s Raya Marshall was the best player in the game, recording a truly remarkable statistic of 8 blocks, 16 rebounds, 5 steals and 9 points. The dots were the least important part of this line, so they are mentioned last. Eight blocks? Five thefts? From the same player in the same game? With 16 boards? Holy smokes. It’s the sort of defensive effort that allowed USC to crush the Washingtons in overtime for another hard-fought victory.
USC visits Salt Lake City to face the national-ranked Utah Utes on Friday in their next game.
USC Women’s Basketball Moves to Intended NCAA Tournament Field After Big Win Over Stanford