USC Women Wrap Up Westmont 73-38 In Exhibition Action
Nov. 1, 2013
LOS ANGELES. CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team scraped the rust off and dug into 2013-14 action tonight with the Trojans' exhibition face-off with Westmont at Galen Center. Playing their first game of the season in front of fans at the Galen Center, the Women of Troy were eager to get time under the lights and with new head coach Cynthia Cooper at the helm. Cooper's Trojans made themselves at home as the game wore on, heating up in the second half to put Westmont behind 73-38 at the final horn.
Twelve different Trojans got in on the scoring action in the win, reflecting a hefty dose of depth on the USC roster for 2013-14. Cassie Harberts led them all with 16 points, while Ariya Crook dumped in 12 and Brianna Barrett added 10 more. USC wound up shooting a smooth 50 percent from the floor, and outrebounded the Warriors 37-28 led by Harberts again with eight boards on the night. Westmont shot 28 percent in the game and was led in scoring by Esther Lee with seven points.
A pick and finish from Brianna Barrett and a jumper from Alexyz Vaioletama had the Trojans doubling up the Warriors 26-13 with 4:30 to go in the first half. Westmont was able to hang tight to the Trojans through the final stretch, though, draining some late free throws to cut it to a 10-point game before Vaioletame delivered a baseline jumper to bump USC back ahead 33-21. One last trip to the line for Westmont with 2 ticks to go saw the Warriors answer back, and USC took a 33-23 lead into the locker room at the break.
Cassie Harberts opened the second half with a score that locked her in as the first player to get to double digits, and she'd provide two more soon after. Barrett would convert her second three-point play of the night with 17:05 on the clock, and USC was up to a 40-25 advantage on the Warriors. Kate Oliver's first points of the night followed, and the Trojans were officially heating up. Barrett nabbed a steal and finished with finesse with 14:15 to go to join Harberts in double figures. A Kiki Alofaituli stuff fed a drive by Crook, and another Westmont turnover saw Crook again going the other way to work her way into double digits, too.
As the 10-minute mark approached, USC was shooting at a 50-percent clip from the floor, thanks in part to Barrett's 4-for-4 effort and perfect visits to the free-throw line. Deanna Calhoun joined her seven other Trojan teammates on the scoresheet with points when she finished off another three-point play for USC, and the Trojans were enjoying a 61-30 lead with 8 minutes remaining. Kaneisha Horn was next to get on the board, becoming the ninth Trojan to score with the front end of her trip to the free-throw line at the 7:30 mark. Trojan scorer number 10 wound up as freshman Courtney Jaco, who impressed with a smooth runner, while her fellow freshman Drew Edelman came up next with a score and the ensuing free throw to put a 71-36 USC lead up on the board entering the final three minutes of action.
USC's first official action takes the Trojans to Northern California next week. The Women of Troy open season on Friday (Nov. 8) with a trip to UC Davis at 7 p.m. From there, USC will head down to Fresno to play Fresno State in a 2 p.m. matchup on Sunday (Nov. 10).