The USC women’s basketball team defeated the UNLV Lady Rebels 75-54. A solid commitment to offense and defense in the first half gave the Women of Troy an advantage.
Freshman guard Alyson Miura led with 15 points and forward Alissa Pili made eight 8 rebounds. For UNLV, sophomore guard Justice Ethridge led with 12 points and junior guard Bailey Thomas made five rebounds.
USC pulled off the victory without sophomore guard Shalexxus Aaron, freshman Madison Campbell and senior Stephanie Watts, who are all injured.
Freshmen worked to secure the victory; the young team has been improving since the beginning of the season.
“We got to improve on concentrating for 40 minutes and being focused,” said USC women’s basketball coach Mark Trakh. “First half, we were on top of the plays, they reacted. Second half, we were on the wrong defense a couple times.”
In the matchup, USC relied on buckets to win, the team only sank five three-pointers. Miura was one of three USC frershmen to score in the double digits. This was their first game of the season in which the team shot at 50 percent from the field.
USC stuck first with an 8-0 run, junior Bailey Thomas broke the offensive silence of the Lady Rebels with a three pointer. The Women of Troy stifled the Rebels on defense, keeping their shooting percentage to 31.3.
Despite sinking shots late in the first quarter, the Lady Rebels struggled to score in the second. All except two UNLV players committed fouls, allowing players like Desiree Caldwell and Haley Rydalch to score free throws. Miura found a five-point run to help USC end the half ahead 44-23
The Women of Troy also initiated defensive stops, making three blocks and six steals at the half.
Once USC hit the 50-point mark, the Women of Troy began making fouls and turnovers. This allowed Justice Ethridge and Haley Rydalch to execute shots. Center Angel Jackson went on a six-point run to break the scoring drought of USC. Jackson noted that the young USC squad has comraderie but have to get used to the high level of competition
“We’re okay as we progress in games because we have seven freshmen, we’re still coming from high school,” she said. “We’re not used to being the stars on our team, we’re not used to playing with these big players.”
UNLV began scoring with more consistency in the paint, launching a 6-2 run.
Ethridge shot a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter, but their offensive effort would only get them within 16 points of the Women of Troy. Endyia Rogers and Miura hit three pointers to help execute win.
USC will battle against Nevada in the Women of Troy Classic on Friday, December 20 at 6:00P.M.