LOS ANGELES — Coming off of a historic road trip to the Bay, there were concerns that USC Women’s Basketball could be in for a hangover performance when the Trojans returned home to Galen Center to take on a last place Arizona State team Friday night.
By the conclusion of the first quarter, however, it was clear that those concerns were all for naught.
USC blitzed the Sun Devils early and never looked back, outscoring Arizona State 22-9 in the first quarter. The Women of Troy never trailed in the 81-63 victory.
A week ago, freshman superstar Juju Watkins scored 51 of the Trojans’ 67 points in their upset of No. 4 Stanford. This time, USC spread the wealth around a lot more, with five Trojans scoring six or more points and three in double figures.
“Wins in this league are hard to come by,” USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said following the game. “I thought our energy was really good tonight.”
“ASU tested us as we knew they would. I thought our energy was really good.”
Watkins still led the way for the Women of Troy, racking up 31 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Senior McKenzie Forbes added 18, and junior Rayah Marshall had a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
For Arizona State, sophomore Trayanna Crisp led the way with 24 points. Sophomore Jalyn Brown (no relation to Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown) had 17 and five assists, while senior Jaddan Simmons had 12 points of her own.
“We’re at our best when we have interior threats and three-point threats,” Gottlieb said. “We should be [scoring] up in the 80s, and not in the 60s, if we’re all doing our job like that.”
With the victory, USC improved to 17-4 on the season. The Women of Troy currently sit in fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona State fell to 10-13 with the loss.
The Trojans return to the court on Monday night, when they host Arizona in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. Tipoff from Galen Center is set for 6:00 p.m. PST.