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Trojans Upend Aggies

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USC men's basketball went on the road and beat the reigning SEC champion Texas A&M Aggies, 65-63, on Friday night.

Click here for the full recap!

While it wasn't USC's best shooting night (5-of-26 from three), the Trojans made a few key plays down the stretch to edge out the Aggies.

Freshman De'Anthony Melton hit a 3-pointer to cut USC's deficit to 2 points with just over 2 minutes to go. After Jordan McLaughlin connected with Chimezie Metu on the go-ahead alley-oop, Melton stole the ball, got fouled and hit a free throw to put the Trojans up, 63-60, with 12 seconds left in the game.

When all was said and done, Metu led the Trojans with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while McLaughlin finished with 13 points. Elijah Stewart posted a double-double, with 11 points and 11 boards.

The Trojans are now 3-0, and will put that undefeated record to the test against New Orleans on Tuesday night at the Galen Center. Click here to purchase tickets!

Soccer Through to Sweet 16

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Alex Anthony hit the final penalty kick to send USC women's soccer through to the Sweet 16 on Friday afternoon.

After two scoreless halves and two scoreless overtime periods, the Trojans came out on top of Texas A&M with the 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans had a handful of great scoring chances throughout the game, but impressive goalkeeper play from the Aggies (8 saves) and a couple of bad bounces kept USC off the board.

A trip to the Sweet 16 came down to penalty kicks, and thankfully USC had the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year in the net. Sammy Jo Prudhomme got the Trojans off to a good start by saving Texas A&M's first shot. Another save was all she needed, as the Women of Troy connected on four of five PK opportunities to win the shootout, 4-3.

In the Sweet 16, the Trojans will take on Utah, who advanced by beating Florida State on a late header. USC kicks off against Utah at noon on Sunday. Click here to purchase tickets!

Generations: Mike Williams and Darreus Rogers

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USC football is proud of its traditions, which now includes the legacy of the No. 1. Donning that number, Mike Williams helped transform the program as one of Pete Carroll's first big recruits.

In a new Generations, Williams catches up with senior WR Darreus Rogers who had to earn that coveted digit. The two powerful receivers also discussed their all-time favorite catches, best routes and the importance of beating the Bruins.


Great Eight

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USC women's water polo, which went undefeated and won the national championship this year, signed eight new members to its 2017 class yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Six members of the new class are California products: Paige Hauschild (San Marcos High - Santa Barbara), Sabrina Garabet (St. Lucy's Priory High - Glendora), Kari Jensen (Campolindo High - Moraga), Randi Reinhardt (Murrieta Valley High - Murrieta), Sophie Traversi (Palos Verdes High - Palos Verdes Estates) and her high school teammate Molly Leimbach.

The other two signees are Canadian imports. Nina Ceklic comes to Troy from Calgary and Verica Bakoc is shipping in from Toronto.

Reinhardt and Traversi both had brothers play on USC's men's team, while Jensen and Leimbach are following in their older sister's footsteps at Troy.

These eight will arrive at USC next year to compete in the spring 2018 season. The 2017 season kicks off on Jan. 20 at the Gaucho Invitational in Santa Barbara.

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2016 Game 11: USC vs. UCLA

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No. 13 USC Trojans (7-3, 6-2) at UCLA Bruins (4-6, 2-5)

The Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and WatchESPN.

Takkarist McKinley 724.jpgBruin to Watch: Senior DL Takkarist McKinley

While UCLA's defensive strength is in the secondary, McKinley is the most disruptive player on the field. The former JC transfer leads the nation in tackles-for-loss. He has been unblockable of late, racking up nine TFLs and six sacks in his last three games. For USC's senior offensive tackles, Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner, McKinley provides the perfect NFL showcase as the defensive end will hear his name called early next spring.

Click here for more on the Bruins.

3 Keys

Ground and Pound

The USC offense should pick up right where it left off in last year's crosstown rivalry game. The Trojans buried the Bruins with power football in the fourth quarter at the Coliseum in 2015, and UCLA has struggled with run defense again this fall, yielding 160 rush yards per game. Conversely, the Bruins are loaded in the secondary, sporting the third best pass defense in the Pac-12. Ronald Jones II had to work for every yard against Washington, but expect a big day from the sophomore and potentially more opportunities for senior RB Justin Davis who knocked the rust off last week.

Go Get It

UCLA QB Mike Fafaul has piled up yards since taking over for the injured Josh Rosen midseason, but he has a habit of throwing the ball to the other team. Fafaul has thrown 10 interceptions in his last five games, including four in the loss to Utah. The Trojans have struggled with turnover issues of their own, but defensively, they have been more opportunistic of late. USC has eight takeaways in its last four games, including five interceptions.

No Mercy

The Bruins have had an undeniably disappointing season, but they could salvage it by knocking off the surging Trojans. On the 10-year anniversary of the 13-9 loss at the Rose Bowl which cost USC a shot at the national championship, the Trojans cannot afford to take any opponent for granted, especially their crosstown rivals. At No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings, USC is in a prime position to play in a New Year's 6 Bowl if it wins out.


Four More New Trojans

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USC men's volleyball added four local recruits to their class of 2017 yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Sam Lewis, a 6-foot-10 middle blocker from Long Beach Poly, plus 6-foot-7 middle blocker Mitch Haly of Corona del Mar, 5-foot-10 libero Cole Paxson of Laguna Beach High and 6-foot-6 outside hitter Noah Franklin of Huntington Beach High all signed national letters of intent for USC yesterday.

All four have Junior Olympics experience and hope to contribute immediately during the 2017 season. In the meantime, though, they'll watch this year's team tackle the 2016-17 schedule. The Trojans are coming off a rebuilding year in which they finished 7-19. They'll get a fresh start in their first match of the regular season, on Jan. 3 against Concordia (Irvine).

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UCLA Thursday: Helton Presser

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USC head coach Clay Helton addressed the media one last time before the Trojans head to their home-away-from-home, the Rose Bowl Stadium, on Saturday. Helton shared the keys to keeping the team level-headed before the big rivalry game, and more.

Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Final Home Stand for Trojans

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USC women's volleyball hosts its last two matches of the regular season tomorrow and Saturday against Oregon State and Oregon.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans will honor its seniors, Elise Ruddins (pictured), Taylor Whittingham and Alice Pizzasegola, before the Oregon game on Saturday.

They have guided the team to a 17-10 record this season, including wins over Oregon State and Oregon earlier this season. The seniors, as well as young players like Khalia Lanier, will be key in USC's final push to make the NCAA Tournament.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's final homestand!

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Shooting for the Sweet 16

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USC women's soccer hosts Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow, hoping to advance to the Sweet 16.

Click here for the full preview!

In the first round last week, second-seeded USC utilized three first half goals (two by way of Morgan Andrews), to top Eastern Washington, 3-1. Now, Andrews and the Trojans shift their focus to the Aggies, who beat in-state foe TCU in the first round to earn a trip out to Los Angeles.

While USC is 15-4-1 on the season, the Aggies are 12-8-1.

The Trojans rank No. 9 in the nation in goals against average (0.493) and fifth in save percentage (.892) thanks to standout goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. She'll be tasked with slowing down the Aggies' leading scorer, Haley Pounds.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's 1:30 p.m. tilt with Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 18!

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Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Gussie Johns

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USC's student-athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond and pool --- they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a bit better in our academic spotlight.

Gussie.jpgName: Gussie Johns
Class: Sophomore
Sport: Women's Lacrosse
Major: Business Administration
GPA: 3.69

Aubrey Kragen (AK): So what is your major here and why did you choose it?

Gussie Johns (GJ): I'm a business major with a focus in entrepreneurial business, and I will be a sports media minor, I just haven't declared yet. I chose that coming out of high school, so I applied right into the business school. I grew up having two parents that were entrepreneurs, and I've always liked that side of the business industry: being able to create your own thing and follow that path. I love business just because it brings in so many different parts of society, because you can kind of take it where you want to take it, whether it be finance or accounting or marketing.

AK: So do you want to found your own company? Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do?

GJ: It's something I've always wanted to do, either start my own company or go into my family's business, just because I've been involved in it since I was a little kid. But from there, I would love to do anything involving sports or giving back as a philanthropic thing, because that's always been in my family and something I've always had a large passion for. I grew up in an environment that was surrounded so much by sports that I can't imagine leaving it right away, or really, ever. So that's definitely something I'll have to implement, whether it's in the actual business I do or outside, just still keeping it a part of my life as I get older.

AK: What did your parents do that inspired you to go into entrepreneurship?

GJ: My mom worked for Vogue right out of school and did consulting for a bunch of companies for a long time. And my dad started a company out of school. He sold that, and then in 2004 they came together and started a company called Bungalow, which later developed into a company called SCOUT, and they make tote bags and small accessories. They're known for their function, while bringing in the fun colors and patterns that my mom creates.

AK: How do you think competing in college athletics has prepared you to lead a company one day?


GJ: I think it definitely has a large impact on how I would act in the business world. I think being able to manage a team and knowing how to manage so many personalities and getting the best out of each person is something that I've learned throughout sports. I think that'll help me going forward in the business world, whether I'm the boss or just an employee. But being able to interact with so many types of people along with so many of the characteristics you learn in sports, like work ethic and time management --- the list goes on and on --- any college athlete is just that much better off once they get in the work world.

AK: Do you think being a goalie specifically --- the viewpoint you have of the field and your duty to make sure your teammates are in the right positions --- will help you be a leader in the business world?

GJ: Absolutely. That's definitely a large part of it, because I see things that other players don't see, because like a quarterback, you have a vantage point that no one else has. And it's kind of like the safety on defense that can see everything in front of them. So yeah, I definitely think that's one of the reasons that I was subconsciously drawn to playing goalie and another reason why I'm drawn to being at the head of a company or starting my own company, is being able to see things like that.

AK: You're in the Trojan Athletic Senate, right? Can you tell me about what you do in that organization?


GJ: Yeah, I'm one of the executive members. I actually just went to San Francisco this weekend as a representative for it. They take two reps from all the Pac-12 schools and we met there and did roundtables and got ideas from other schools. Right now, we just restructured TAS into three different committees: community service and outreach, and then we have health and wellness and kind of equality and diversity, and then the last one is trying to get people to more games and trying to get athletes more involved. I'm on the health and wellness one and we're trying to form a campaign to promote diversity within the athletic department and on campus.

AK: I know you've recently been involved with the U.S. National Lacrosse team. Can you update me on that?

GJ: So in August we had the tryouts, and from there, 36 players made it out of more than 100. So I actually made the team along with two of my coaches: Devon Wills and Alyssa [Leonard]. So in September we had a meeting and an intra-squad scrimmage with the 36 people and there weren't any cuts after that. Then we got back together in October and they cut from 36 to 24, and Devon and I made it to the next stage of cuts. January is the last cut and it goes to 18. It's just funny because she's a goalie, I'm a goalie and she's the older generation while I'm the younger generation. It's been fun to follow in her footsteps in a way and experience lacrosse as her teammate and not just about her player, because I'd heard so much about how she plays and how she's a leader and impacts the players around her, but I had never seen it firsthand. It's been an awesome opportunity to be at that level and with those types of players.