USC Women's Nonconference Schedule Takes Shape
Aug. 1, 2014
The USC women's basketball program rides the winning wave of its first-ever Pac-12 Tournament Championship into this new season to come. After claiming the tournament title and breaking back into the NCAA Tournament scene last season under the direction of new head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, the Women of Troy carry a winning mentality into their 2014-15 campaign. Although the school year has yet to begin, basketball season still looms large on the horizon for the Trojans. November will come quickly, indeed, and USC has plenty to look forward to when nonconference action kicks off in mere months. USC will face four fellow NCAA Tournament teams (South Carolina, Fresno State, Cal State Northridge and Oklahoma State) during the nonconference stretch. Of those squads, the Gamecocks and the Sooners finished 2013-14 in the national rankings.
While the Trojans' nonconference schedule is now locked in, Pac-12 competition still yet to be finalized -- although the weekly matchups for conference play have taken shape. But first, USC has a busy November and December to contend with. After a Nov. 9 exhibition game against Concordia at the Galen Center, the Trojans jump right into the real deal with a trip eastward.
USC's official season opener comes in a journey to take on South Carolina on Nov. 15 as the Women of Troy look to seek some revenge on the Gamecocks after a loss at home last year. From there, the Trojans travel next-door to North Carolina to take on host Davidson for the first time in program history on Nov. 17. USC heads back west for a couple local tilts -- first visiting Long Beach State, where former Women of Troy players Jody Wynn and Kari LaPlante are coaching the 49ers. After that Nov. 21 clash, USC will get back to Galen Center for the Trojans' home opener on Nov. 23 against Fresno State at 2 p.m.
That day, USC fans will get their first official home introduction to the 2014-15 Women of Troy, who are under the direction of head coach Cooper-Dyke and assistant Jualeah Woods for the second season and joined by first-year associate head coach Beth Burns and assistant Taja Edwards. They are two of a grand total of six new faces for the Women of Troy this season, as four freshmen have joined the roster for 2014-15. Chyanne Butler, McKenzie Calvert, Amy Okonkwo and Kristen Simon are on board for their first seasons as Trojans. Along with that foursome, Nov. 23 will also offer up a Galen Center debut for Alexis Lloyd, a transfer from Virginia Tech who was sidelined last year at USC by surgery. In all, those five fresh faces have a strong group of returners to help guide them. USC's senior class is a powerful crew. Led by the 2014 Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Ariya Crook, the senior corps includes Kiki Alofaituli, Kaneisha Horn and Alexyz Vaioletama. Vaioletama earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention last season along with guard Brianna Barrett, who now takes up her junior season with the Trojans. Fellow junior Destinie Gibbs returns for her third season of actio. Jordan Adams received a redshirt season for her first year at Troy in which she picked up an injury, so she now heads into 2014-15 as a redshirt sophomore. True sophomores Drew Edelman and Courtney Jaco are also signed on, with Jaco boasting Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention from her first season as a Trojan. The departure of graduated All-American Honorable Mention recipient Cassie Harberts is sure to be noticed, but the 2014-15 Women of Troy still return four starters from the 2014 Pac-12 Championship squad as well as plenty of offensive and defensive firepower to remain a contender throughout the season to come.
Following USC's Nov. 23 home opener, the Women of Troy have another out-of-state adventure on the books with a trip to Dallas, Texas, for the SMU Tournament from Nov. 28-29. USC joins Sam Houston State, Florida A&M and host SMU at that two-day affair before returning to California to take on a stretch of four in-state squads.
On Dec. 6, USC heads north to Moraga to face Saint Mary's, then returns to Galen Center for the remainder of the month. Dec. 9 brings Cal State Northridge to town for a 6 p.m. revenge match at Galen Center. The following weekend, USC hosts Sacramento State at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14 and then squares off against LMU at 4 p.m. on Dec. 18. The busy week continues when USC's nonconference slate comes to a close on Dec. 21 when Oklahoma State journeys westward for a noon showdown against the Trojans at Galen Center.
The Pac-12 schedule along with Pac-12 Network broadcasted games is due to be finalized by Sept. 1 with the full 2014-15 calendar locked in. Check back to usctrojans.com for the final schedule. In the meantime, below is a list of USC's complete nonconference slate and a tentative listing of the proposed Pac-12 pairings for the Women of Troy.
USC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 2014-15 NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 9 Concordia (exhibition) Galen Center 2 p.m. Nov. 15 at South Carolina Columbia, S.C. 2 p.m. Nov. 17 at Davidson Davidson, N.C. TBD Nov. 21 at Long Beach State Long Beach, Calif. 5 p.m. Nov. 23 Fresno State Galen Center 2 p.m.
PROJECTED PAC-12 PAIRINGS (dates and matchups to be finalized by Sept. 1)
Dec. 30-Jan. 2 vs. UCLA Jan. 2-6 vs. Oregon & Oregon State Jan. 8-12 at Colorado & Utah Jan. 15-19 at UCLA Jan. 22-26 vs. California & Stanford Jan. 29-Feb. 2 at Oregon State & Oregon Feb. 5-9 vs. Utah & Colorado Feb. 12-16 at Stanford & California Feb. 19-23 vs. Arizona & Arizona State Feb. 26-March 2 at Washington & Washington State