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USC Women’s Basketball faces rival UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament.
By Khari Jones Jr., Contributing Writer
Published March 6, 2020

Southern California guard Endyia Rogers, right, gestures after hitting a 3-point shot as forward Kayla Overbeck stands nearby during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Oregon on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Women of Troy defeated Colorado Buffaloes 69-54 in a sensational win led by Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Alissa Pili. She finished with 22 pts, 5 rebs, and two assists. Pili stepped up big time for the young Trojans, and she demonstrated why she’s recognized as the top freshman in the conference. Throughout the game, the young freshman showed poised, leadership and confidence as if she’s been here before. Pili’s experiences helped her prepare for moments like this. According to Pili, “All my life I’ve been raised to keep my head and not get frustrated. Even if I get frustrated, I don’t show it. Even in high school, it was hard playing against the refs, so I’ve always had to keep my head.” Pili didn’t know what to expect coming into the tournament, all she knew is she wanted to play ball. She didn’t expect to be the top scorer in the first round. “I didn’t know what to expect performance wise, but I knew I had high expectations for myself. I just came in with the mindset to work hard to earn my spot.” USC Senior Kayla Overbeck explains why this young team was ready for this game tonight. “We got this. We’ve been here before. We’ve been in so many close games. We’re not going to quit until the clock hits zero. That shows a lot with this young team. We’re ready to prove something.

Southern California forward Alissa Pili, center, shoots as Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard, right, defends and guard Sabrina Ionescu watches during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Los Angeles. Oregon won 93-67. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Controlling their emotions played a crucial role in USC’s victory over Colorado. Another standout freshman Endyia Rogers played a significant role in this win. Rogers was defended all night closely by Colorado’s best defenders and still hit some big shots in the fourth quarter. USC head coach Mark Trakh. He says, “She plays with a lot of poise. Endyia is incredibly skilled and deceptively athletic. She’s a freshman who doesn’t know any better. Pressure doesn’t mean anything to her, and she thinks she’s out playing with her dad.” Rogers says, “I know I play a big role on this team. I do what I need to do for my team to win.” She also spoke on being closely guarded throughout the game. “If you want to get up on me, I’m blowing by you.” After the win, Pili had an interview with Ros-Gold Onwude, and the team was excited they interrupted her interview, and celebrated the team’s victory. Pili says, “That shows how much the team has my back, how much they love and care for me. It’s a great family atmosphere with my girls. It was great to see it on tv.”

USC now has to face its rival, one of the top teams in its conference UCLA. This is now the time to prove why they belong here, says Pili, “This gives us another chance to show we can compete with one of the top teams in the country. It’s our time to show why we are here.” The Women of Troy will face UCLA today 6:00 PM PT.

Categories: Basketball | Daily Briefs | Sports
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