Los Angeles – The USC Trojans came back from a 17-point deficit to upend No. 16 Oregon State Sunday, 65-61. It was a solid bounce-back showing after coming close to knocking off No. 9 Oregon two days earlier.
Kristen Simon scored a game-high 21 points for the Trojans, while Sadie Edwards finished with 17 and Aliyah Mazyck added 14.
The hosts got out to a quick start and an early lead that the Beavers squashed with an 8-0 run in the final minutes of the first quarter to go up, 22-13, punctuated by a Mikayla Pivec half-court buzzer-beater.
The Beavers continued their onslaught in the third quarter, padding their lead with eight minutes remaining. It was then that USC went on a 12-0 run of their own that featured nine steals. They hung tough throughout the final period, and broke free at the 1:34 mark when Simon sunk two free throws to give the Trojans their first lead since the opening minutes.
Oregon State then turned the ball over and Minyon Moore iced a pair of free throws to seal the win.
USC coach Mark Trakh said his team’s effort was gritty.
“I’m really proud of the kids because they were down against a nationally-ranked team that really runs their stuff well, and they came back and they grinded,” Trakh said.
It was a bounce-back win for the Trojans, who came close to upsetting No. 9 Oregon Friday. The Beavers dropped their second consecutive game.
The Trojans, now 11-4, have begun the season better than predicted. Trakh said the upset win will continue to propel them.
“This does wonders for their confidence,” he said. “Now they know that we were in a close game against a nationally-ranked team and they came back and they won.”
Moore, who finished with nine points, said she and her teammates persevere.
“One thing I know about our team is that we don’t give up,” she said. “We don’t really see numbers. We see we’re down by 13, but we still play like it’s a close game. Our team doesn’t get flustered or anything like that.”
Marie Gulich finished with 16 points for Oregon state, while Pivec added 14.
The Beavers lost Friday to No. 14 UCLA. Coach Scott Rueck credited the Trojans in their win.
“USC is very athletic and veteran at the guard spots,” he said. “You have to give them credit for making plays. “We’re going to learn lessons from this. Life on the road in the Pac-12 is tough, but we will learn from both games this weekend and we’ll get better from it.”