Los Angeles, Calif.– The USC Trojans opened the 2016-17 season Friday with an emphatic 76-44 rout of Hawai’I.
Kristen Simon led the charge for the Women of Troy with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Adams and freshman Ja’Tavia Tapley had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
USC grabbed the lead fifteen seconds into the contest and didn’t look back, opening a 25-12 advantage following the first quarter. The Rainbow Wahine attempted a comeback midway through the second quarter, narrowing the margin to 13. The Trojans then scored next 12 points before stretching the lead to as many as 37 late in the fourth quarter.
However, the win epitomized much more for USC, as it demonstrated how united this team is. Not only did the Trojans receive scoring output from 12 players, they ended the night shooting 50 percent from the field – a statistic that even got coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke excited.
“I thought we took, especially in the important moments of this game, we took great shots,” she said.
Friday also played witness to the emergence of the Trojan freshman class, more specifically Tapley and Minyon Moore. Both provided a spark off the bench, with Moore notching 8 points of her own. They did the same thing last week in USC’s exhibition match up.
Cooper-Dyke said she notices the freshmen developing each time they see game action.
“It was great to see them gain some confidence with every minute that they’re on the court,” Cooper-Dyke said.
Tapley noted that the chemistry among the freshman class plays a big part in their contributions to the team.
“I feel like as freshman and just getting to know each other we have a good chemistry with the team and also our other teammates, the seniors and the older girls,” Tapley said.
The Trojans will hit the hardwood again on Wednesday when they host the UC Riverside Highlanders before hitting the road to take on UNLV.