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Women Of Troy Prove Defense Pays Off

Jodee Sullivan |
February 7, 2015 | 1:06 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Trojans held the Utes to just 54 points. (@Pac12Networks)
The Trojans held the Utes to just 54 points. (@Pac12Networks)
Head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has said countless times that her team’s offense feeds of its defense, and that was more than true this game. The Women of Troy (12-10, 4-7 Pac-12) a dominating 73-54 win over Utah (7-14, 1-9 Pac-12). 

This couldn’t have come at a better time for the Women of Troy: they snapped a 5-game losing streak (USC’s last win was against Utah). 

“The team was tired of losing,” Cooper commented. “They were willing to put forth the effort to win.”

With three double-digit scorers, freshman guard McKenzie Calvert with 16 points, senior forward Kaneisha Horn with 11 points and junior guard Brianna Barrett with 10 points, the Women of Troy were hot from the court. 

Throughout the entirety of the game the Women of Troy dominated the boards, bringing down 37 rebounds. Another key to their success was the reduction of turnovers. With only nine TOs, USC was able to have more control over the ball and run their offense effectively.

Horn emphasized the team’s ability to move the ball around the court on offense, and how in the end 

“We pitched the ball well today,” Horn mentioned. “And it paid off tonight.”

In most sports, one could make the argument that defense wins games, and more often than not, that’s true. This game, the Women of Troy proved that 

The Women of Troy recorded seven steals and Utah turned over the ball 17 times. The defensive front that they put forward more or less stopped Utah in their tracks. The stops continually transitioned into effective offensive sequences for the Women of Troy.

“Key defensive stops helped build our confidence offensively,” Cooper stated.

SEE MORE: Is Pac-12 Basketball In Trouble?

Senior forward Alexyz Vaioletama noted the impact her team’s defensive performance has on their overall game play.

“I think our defense and intensity allowed us to transition to easy buckets,” Vaioletama explained.

While USC completed dominated the intensity in the first half, Utah came out with a bit of a spark in the second. They broke down USC’s lead to single digits, but the Women of Troy snapped back into the game and stretched their lead back out to double digits. Cooper was impressed with how her team took the momentum back and “finish out a good game.”

“You have to be able to play through the tough moments through the game,” Cooper indicated. “And they did that.”

The Women of Troy proved that when they play their game and focus on defending the ball, their offense will strengthen. This is a team that has the potential to grow and get better. The team is young, so by building off of this performance, the team should pick up and add some more wins. 

In the presser after the game, it was obvious that Cooper, Vaioletama, and Horn were pleased with the win. They smiled and laughed with each other, while still maintaining focus and breakdown the game.

This was a much-needed win for the Women of Troy. The momentum from the win should carry over to their upcoming games. 

The Women of Troy take on Colorado (10-12, 3-8 Pac-12) at 12pm this Sunday. 

Contact Staff Reporter Jodee Sullivan here and on Twitter here



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