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Top-Seeded USC Women’s Basketball Takes 80-73 Loss To UConn In NCAA Elite Eight



Top-Seeded USC Women’s Basketball Takes 80-73 Loss To UConn In NCAA Elite Eight

PORTLAND, ORE. — Within the NCAA Elite Eight for the primary time in 30 years, the top-seeded USC girls’s basketball group got here up towards a hot-shooting UConn squad and noticed its storybook season come to a detailed in an 80-73 loss to the No. 3 seeded Huskies tonight within the NCAA Regional Closing in Portland, Ore. USC led issues early, solely to see UConn choose up its tempo and mount a back-breaking 11-0 run within the fourth quarter. The Trojans, who reached their highest nationwide rating since 1986 this season at No. 3 within the land, had been making their fourth-ever Elite Eight look. USC closes down its impressing 2023-24 marketing campaign with a 29-6 general report.

On the finish of the motion, USC’s JuJu Watkins, McKenzie Forbes and Rayah Marshall had been named to the Portland Area 3 All-Match Group. 

A recreation of runs within the first half, USC and UConn had been all even 33-33 at halftime, with the Trojans taking pictures 33 % and the Huskies at 40 % from the ground via these first 20 minutes. USC was up on the boards 21-19, and every group had landed three 3-pointers apiece. USC went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line within the first half, forward of UConn’s 4-of-5 effort from the stripe. The Huskies continued to warmth up, ending out the sport at 48.3 % and forward on the boards 42-41. USC wrapped at 32.9 % from the ground and took its first misplaced of the 12 months when scoring 70 or extra factors.

The Trojans had been led by JuJu Watkins’ game-high 29 factors, and the freshman broke the nationwide report for single-season scoring by a freshman in ending out her first 12 months as a Trojan with 920 factors. She additionally recorded her eighth double-double with 10 rebounds. Rayah Marshall additionally had a double-double — her 14th of the season and thirty fourth profession — with 11 factors and 11 boards, whereas McKenzie Forbes scored 24 factors and hit 5 3-pointers for the Trojan trigger. UConn acquired 28 factors and 10 rebounds Paige Bueckers together with 24 factors from Aaliyah Edwards. 

A McKenzie Forbes 3-pointer nudged the Trojans forward early, 5-2, though the Huskies received one away a pair minutes later at 7-6. JuJu Watkins delivered a jumper to spark an 8-0 USC rally to guide it 15-6 at 3:53 after three-point performs transformed by Watkins and Forbes. UConn replied with a 9-0 run that locked it even at 15-15 with 1:05 on the clock, after which Forbes tugged the Trojans again forward earlier than the shut of the quarter to make it a 17-15 USC benefit. USC would battle to get the ball to drop within the opening stretch of the second, whereas the Huskies scored eight straight factors to take their first lead and go up 24-19 4 minutes into the body. Watkins broke that up with a 3-pointer from the highest, then planted one other to get USC one again at 26-25 with 4:40 to go. UConn pushed out forward 31-25, and USC was in a 33-27 gap with 1:20 remaining within the half. USC received again to work, with Rayah Marshall delivering down low, then nabbing a steal and hitting two free throws the opposite approach. Watkins earned a visit to the stripe subsequent, snarling issues up 33-33 earlier than Kaitlyn Davis wrapped the half by taking a cost to maintain issues even for halftime. 

UConn kicked down the gates of the second half with one other 8-0 surge earlier than Forbes dropped her third 3-pointer of the evening. She’d nail one other a pair minutes later to make it a 45-40 margin at 5:15, however the Huskies pushed again and went up 52-40 with 4:15 on the clock. Undeterred, the Trojans adopted with a three-point play from Watkins and two cool free throws from Forbes, carving the deficit right down to 52-45 at 3:05 The ultimate minute was a flurry, as USC wrapped 3-pointers from Taylor Bigby and Kayla Padilla round a Husky three, with Padilla punching hers in simply earlier than the buzzer to make it a 55-51 scoreline getting into the fourth. An early three-point play by UConn had USC in a 58-51 gap, however the Trojans would not again down. Watkins answered with a three-point play of her personal, after which one other Watkins bucket was adopted by a Forbes three, and the groups had been locked up even for the fifth time at 59-59 with 7:30 on the clock. It was a one-point recreation with 4:30 to go due to a 4-0 run from Watkins that had USC in attain at 65-64, though UConn fired again with an 11-0 response to guide it 76-64 with 1:25 remaining. Forbes received USC a lift with a 3-pointer slightly below the minute mark, pulling it to a nine-point recreation, and the Watkins delivered two free throws to make it 76-69 with 47 seconds on the clock. UConn was 0-for-4 from the road within the subsequent 20 seconds, and Marshall laid one in for USC to get it to 76-71 with 18 seconds left. UConn lastly discovered success from the road a second later, pulling forward 78-71, and USC wound up brief on time to make up floor, falling in a remaining 80-73 determination.

– With a game-high 29 factors tonight, FR JuJu Watkins finishes the season with 920 factors to turn into the all-time freshman scoring chief in NCAA girls’s basketball historical past. 
– Watkins additionally had 10 rebounds, recording her ninth double-double
– GS McKenzie Forbes made 5 3-pointers tonight mark her thirty second recreation hitting at the very least one three this season.  
– Over the past 5 video games, Forbes was 44.4 % from 3-point vary (20-for-45).
– With 11 factors and 11 rebounds tonight, Rayah Marshall recorded her fifteenth double-double of the season and thirty fifth of her profession.
– She posted a double-double in seven of USC’s final 9 video games.
– USC fell when scoring 70 or extra factors in a recreation for the primary time this season (22-1).
– USC was held to 32.9 % taking pictures tonight, simply the fifth recreation this season taking pictures beneath 33.0 %.  
– USC had its eight-game profitable streak snapped with the 80-73 loss tonight.
– At 29-6 general, USC has recorded its most wins since going 31-5 in 1985-86 beneath head coach Linda Sharp.

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