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USC Taken Out By Stanford On Girls' Night Out

Hailey Tucker |
January 25, 2015 | 11:10 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Despite Kaneisha Horn's double-double, USC fell to No.11 Stanford 60-71 on Sunday night. (via USC Athletics)
Despite Kaneisha Horn's double-double, USC fell to No.11 Stanford 60-71 on Sunday night. (via USC Athletics)

The USC women’s basketball team (11-8, 3-5) fell by eleven points to No. 11-ranked Stanford (15-5, 7-1) at home Sunday evening despite two players posting double-doubles.

On a promotional “Girls’ Night Out” in which the Galen Center stands were packed with enthusiastic ten and eleven-year-old girls—their high-pitched shrieks rising to the raftersit was clear that they had more fun being casual spectators than devoted fans, as the Women of Troy fell 60-71 to the Stanford Cardinal.  

“We got better,” said USC coach and alum Cynthia Cooper after the game. “We just weren’t able to get over the hump.” 

This was certainly the case in a game where USC struggled to keep up with a deeper and more consistent Stanford team.  

USC started off the game looking ready to post a major upset after they hurried out to a 12-8 lead. However, the Women of Troy suffered from a five-minute drought in which the Cardinal outscored them 15-1.  

The Women of Troy experienced two more such droughts in the first half, leaving themselves with a 9-point deficit at halftime.

Coach Cooper understood the fact that against such a skilled team, not scoring for a quarter of the game was going to be an issue.

“We dug a hole for ourselves,” she lamented.

SEE MORE: Women Of Troy 'Turnover' Game In Second Half

USC opened up the second half strong as well, impressing Cooper, who afterward stressed the importance of bringing the intensity with which they played the second half to every game.  

The Women of Troy were also beleaguered by a lack of balanced scoring. Three of the five starters posted double digits, but aside from those three, the team combined for nine points.  

Redshirt sophomore Jordan Adams posted her first career double-double with a career-high 21 points to go alongside 10 rebounds; seven of which were on the offensive side of the ball.  

The other dynamic player for USC Sunday was senior forward Kaneisha Horn, who recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds.

“We kept being aggressive, going to the boards, get the rebound.  Simple," Horn said.

Cooper had praise for her two standouts Sunday night, but also stressed that she wanted to see more consistent efforts from Adams, who surpassed her season average by nearly 15 points.  

She also cited a need for junior guard Brianna Barrett to “pick it up.”  Barrett was 0-5 from the field and failed to score in the game.  

The Women of Troy were dominant in the paint recording 41 rebounds to Stanford’s 32.  Of those 41 rebounds, 20 of them were offensive, leading to an astounding 20-5 advantage for USC on second-chance points. 

But USC shot only 50% from the free throw line, going 8-16 from the field, and Cooper knows that  leaving such opportunities on the table against an opponent like Stanford simply will not do. 

SEE MORE: Trojan Chop Down Cardinal, Remain Undefeated

Free throws have got to be “an area of focus in practice,” according to Cooper.  

Cooper admitted a need to go “back to the drawing board” in order to figure out some way to finish.

“We needed a few more defensive stops,” she said.  

During halftime, Cooper did design a new zone that the team had never practiced before, which she thought confused Stanford temporarily.  USC was only outscored by the Cardinal by two in the second half, yet it wasn’t enough for them to fully get back into the game. 

The Women of Troy will now travel up north to face off against an undefeated Oregon State team that is ranked ninth and is 18-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of No. 5 Tennessee.  On their northwest road trip, they will also face Oregon, who is 8-11, 1-7 in conference.  

Coach Cooper had a simple message to give her team as they embark on a challenging road trip: “We need to get back on the winning track and you do that by digging your heels in the ground, playing solid defense, and making some plays.”      

Reach Staff Reporter Hailey Tucker here.



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