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Split Decision

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The Women of Troy split their weekend series in the desert against the Arizona schools to move to 17-7 on the season. Guards Sadie Edwards and Courtney Jaco carried USC on career-high scoring nights with Jaco racking up 24 points in the Arizona win and Edwards leading all scorers with 26 points in the loss to No. 8 Arizona State.

Jaco's 24 points, which sparked the Trojans', 67-57, victory over the Wildcats, came off of four three-pointers and a 10-point second quarter, while Temi Fagbenle added another double-digit outing and was one rebound shy of a double-double. The aggressive USC defense also contributed to the victory, forcing 21 turnovers and finished with 12 steals.

Click here for a recap from Friday's victory over the Wildcats.

The finale of the weekend road series came against the No. 8 team in the country, and the Trojans battled it out until the final buzzer. Edwards' 26 points carried the Women of Troy, but unfortunately a three-point play off of a layup plus a game-winning free throw gave the edge to the Sun Devils who won, 69-68. Click here for Edwards' airport reaction from her career night.

Click here for a recap from Sunday's close loss to the Sun Devils.

The Women of Troy head home to the Galen Center for a weekend series against the Washington schools. The action begins on Friday at 7:00 p.m. against the Huskies in the annual Play 4 Kay game honoring breast cancer awareness. Click here to support the cause. 

Here are the highlights from Friday's victory over the Arizona Wildcats...


Ranked Again

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After dominating crosstown rival UCLA last Thursday for the second time this season, the USC men's basketball team earned a spot in the nation's Top 25 for the second time this year with a No. 23 ranking in both the AP Top 25 and Coaches polls. 

The Trojans are averaging 84.0 points per game, good for second in the Pac-12, and lead the conference in three-point shooting (192) and assists (361). On a three-game winning streak featuring victories over Washington, Washington State and UCLA, USC looks to continue its winning ways this weekend as it travels to the desert to face Arizona and Arizona State.

No. 3 Wins Opening Two

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USC women's water polo kicked off the 2016 season in dominant fashion last weekend, with back-to-back wins over UC San Diego and Whittier. The No. 3 Trojans, who finished third in the NCAA Tournament last year, demonstrated the strength of this season's youthful roster in both of their victories.

Click here for a complete recap of USC's season-opening win on Friday.

Click here for a complete recap of the Trojans' first road victory at Whittier on Saturday.

Three different Trojans finished with hat tricks en route to an emphatic, 17-4, win over No. 19 UC San Diego. Junior Brigitta Games led the way with four goals, while Nikki Stansfield, Stephania Haralabidis and Avery Peterson contributed three apiece. Peterson shined again just one day later, notching an impressive six goals in the Women of Troy's, 28-2, victory over Whittier. Freshmen Mackenzie Flath and Courtney Fahey each scored twice, the first goals of both Trojans' careers. In total, seven different Trojans posted hat tricks in last weekend's action, a sure sign that this year's team isn't lacking in offensive weapons.

On Wednesday, the Women of Troy host the Brazilian National Team for a scrimmage (5 p.m. PT, Uytengsu Aquatics Center) before traveling south for the UCSD Tournament this weekend. Be sure to follow @USCWaterPolo for in-game scoring updates, stats and more.

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Signing Day Splash

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Five newcomers joined the USC men's water polo team last Thursday, and the newest members of the Trojan family are eager to contribute to head coach Jovan Vavic's storied program. Arriving at USC this fall are the quintet of Marin Dasic, Chas Hornecker, Matt Maier, Will Rubschlager and Luke Wyatt.


"This is a very balanced class," Vavic said after the group signed their national letters of intent last week. "We have a goalie, a lefty, a defender and drivers. This is a group that can play together for four years and help us really get on track and continue the tradition. Overall, this is a very physically tough group. These guys will not be pushed around."

Dasic, who has played for all levels of the Croatian national team, brings offensive firepower to a Trojan team that made it to its eleventh consecutive NCAA final last season. As a back-to-back CIF Southern Section champion, Hornecker (pictured at bottom) is a speedy driver who will complement Dasic's offensive strengths. A member of the U.S. Junior National team, Maier comes to USC as a First Team All-CIF selection alongside both Rubschlager and Wyatt. Rubschlager looks to add depth to the Trojans' goalkeeping corps, while Wyatt(pictured below), a dangerous left-handed shooter will aim to bolster USC's attack.

For more on USC men's water polo, including photos, offseason updates and more, be sure to follow @USCWaterPolo.

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Pat on the Back

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The Trojan Family has poured out positive emotion in the wake of athletic director Pat Haden's retirement announcement, thanking him for six years of tireless service to the athletic department.

Click here to listen to Haden discuss his decision with Mason & Ireland on ESPNLA 710.

Click here to see Haden interviewed on Pac-12 Network.










A Leg Up

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The BMW Crosstown Cup battle has been back-and-forth in 2015-16, but the Trojans have seized the lead thanks to men's basketball's dominating series sweep, winning both games by double digits for the first time since 1938.

Click here for Crosstown Cup standings.

The next points will be decided in the pool when women's swimming and diving heads to Westwood on February 12.

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Photo Gallery: Sweet Sweep

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USC men's basketball rewarded its first capacity crowd in five years by sweeping away UCLA, 80-61, sending Galen Center into a frenzy.

John McGillen, assisted by Rachel Bennett, captured all the action in two galleries, first half (top) and second half (bottom).




Haden Announces Retirement

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USC president Max Nikias told the university community this morning that athletic director Pat Haden has announced his retirement, effective June 30. After that time, Nikias said that Haden will remain at USC for a year, guiding the Coliseum renovation.

Click the link to read Nikias' letter to the Trojan Family: Haden_Patrick_Nikias.pdf

"It has been a tremendous honor serving my alma mater, a school I love so much, as well as serving Max Nikias, our coaches and staff and, most importantly, our student-athletes," said Haden.  "I am proud of what has been accomplished here the past six years and knowing that USC Athletics is on an upward trajectory.  I look forward to finishing out this academic year as athletic director and then spending time on the Coliseum project."

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3-Points: USC 80, UCLA 61

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The USC men's basketball team swept crosstown rival UCLA on Thursday night at home in front of a sold-out crowd to improve to 14-0 at home and 18-5 on the season. The victory marks the first time the Trojans have swept the Bruins since 2010 and just the sixth time in the last 60 years.


Click here for a full recap from the Trojans' sweep of the Bruins.

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Guard Julian Jacobs kicked off the crosstown showdown with a layup off the opening tip, and the Trojans didn't sacrifice the lead for the remaining 39 minutes and 55 seconds. USC jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, forcing UCLA to call a timeout, and the rowdy Galen Crowd erupted. These runs continued throughout the game as the Trojans only saw their lead dwindle to six midway through the second half. A majority of these runs came from fast-break points created by UCLA turnovers on defense with USC scoring 13 fast-break points to UCLA's zero.

"We have a style we like to play and it starts with the defense," said head coach Andy Enfield. "We try to get deflections, steals, blocked shots and then challenge shots. When you do that, you can get out and score in transition."

"When we're in transition we're one of the most dynamic teams," added Jacobs.

Crosstown Shutdown

"We expect to win every game we play in. Whether we play defense is the determining factor," said Jacobs, who led the Trojans in scoring with 17 points. Well, USC's defense certainly showed up on Thursday night, holding UCLA to 35 percent shooting from the field, which is the 10th time the Trojans have held an opponent to 40 percent or less shooting. In comparison, USC shot 45 percent from the field, including 10 buckets from beyond-the-arc, which is the seventh time this season the Trojans have scored 10 or more three-pointers. The Bruins' 61 points is also a season-low much to the credit of Trojan guards like Jacobs and McLaughlin as well as post players like Nikola Jovanovic.

"When you play UCLA, you try to take their strengths away as best you can," said the head coach. "Down the stretch we were able to rebound the ball."

Guard Your Yard

The Trojans are off to their best start at home in program history with 14 consecutive wins at the Galen Center this season. On Thursday, USC played in front of a sell-out crowd that players like Jacobs noted was the first time they had ever seen a crowd that big in the Galen Center. Students were lined up starting two-and-a-half hours before tip-off, and the Trojans certainly did not disappoint as they dominated the crosstown showdown with ease.

"The Galen Center is just a terrific atmosphere for college basketball when it's like this. It's loud and the fans feel like they're on top of you," said Enfield. "To have the students of USC embrace our team and to be enthusiastic and come support, it means a lot. It creates an atmosphere and a home court advantage that some other teams have around the country."

Click here for tickets to the remaining home games!

Check out all the highlights from the Trojans' sweep over the Bruins in front of a rowdy crowd at the Galen Center...


The Final Score

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The real results of National Signing Day will not be seen until the players hit the field this fall and the years to come, but that does not stop the recruiting services from judging the classes now.

After reeling in 20 of the nation's top talents, Clay Helton's first recruiting class as head coach is considered to be the best in the Pac-12, according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. And nationally, the newest Trojans had the highest average star rating per player, according to Scout.com.

Click here to revisit our Signing Day page.

Thirteen prep players in USC's signing class are listed among the ESPN 300, including six in the top 100. Fifteen were All-American first teamers and 12 were named All-State first team.