The Women of Troy fought hard against the No. 1-ranked Stanford Cardinal at Galen Center Saturday night, but ultimately fell short 80-60. Stanford senior guard Kiana Williams scored 27 points to lead the Cardinal attack.
Williams was on fire from long-range, hitting seven 3-pointers. She was also an iron woman as she was on the court for 39 of the game’s 40 minutes. Junior guard Lexie Hull finished with 16 points, including a four-point play in the first quarter after getting fouled on a made 3-pointer.
There were still bright spots for the Trojans in the loss, though. Among them was a 26-point outburst from sophomore guard Endyia Rogers on efficient 11-for-22 shooting.
The Trojans were more accurate than the Cardinal as USC shot 40.4% compared to Stanford’s 39.2%. The main problem was that Stanford outrebounded USC 52-26, which led to 26 second-chance points for Stanford. Stanford’s top player, sophomore guard Hayley Jones, finished with 11 rebounds to lead the way.
Stanford entered the game 5-0 on the season while the Trojans entered at 1-3. USC has now lost to Stanford 11 times in a row, with its last victory coming during the semifinals of the 2014 Pac-12 Tournament.
Head coach Mark Trakh commented that he was “proud of the team’s effort.”
“We shot the ball well,” he said. “The difference is that we let the other team get offensive rebounds, which led to 26 points [scored by Stanford]. We just have to correct the issues.”
The game was much closer than the final score represented as the Trojans were down 32-24 at the half. Rogers and Williams both had 11 points by halftime, while sophomore center Angel Jackson was stopping opponents left, right and center with three blocks before the break.
Jackson finished the game with five blocks and a team-high five rebounds. Redshirt freshman guard Madison Campbell hit a 3-pointer in the first half to extend her streak of making a long-range attempt each game this season.
The Trojans pulled within six on a Rogers layup midway through the third as the Cardinal were only up 35-29, but a Stanford push put USC down 54-41 entering the fourth quarter. Jones got her own rebound for a putback to put the Cardinal up 56-41 before the Trojans called a timeout.
Graduate transfer forward Jordan Sanders hit two quick buckets to bring the Trojans within 11 as they were down 56-45. She scored another basket shortly after to cap an exciting stretch of six points in 90 seconds that had her teammates on the bench jumping out of their seats.
The Trojans fought right up until the end, but once Williams hit another three to make it 72-54 with 2:24 remaining, it was all but over.
Sophomore guard Kyra White, who had a team-high four assists, was optimistic after their performance against the nation’s top team.
“We’re not anybody to play with,” White said. “We’re here for a reason. Even though our record might not show it, we’re not a team to be messed with.”
USC will have another opportunity for its first conference win when it hosts Cal Monday at 2 p.m.