Los Angeles – It was an emotional day at Galen Center in USC’s 65-53 win over the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday.
Not only were the Trojans looking to secure their 19th win of the season, but most importantly for coach Mark Trakh and the Women of Troy, they wanted to give seniors Jordan Adams, Kristen Simon, and Sadie Edwards a day they would remember as they honored them on Senior Day.
Led by 24 points from Aliyah Mazyck, USC recovered from a slow first half performance, in which they shot only 33 percent from the field. They also had to play a substantial amount of time without starting point guard Minyon Moore, who sustained a cut near her eye midway through the first quarter.
Entering the third period trailing Colorado by only two points, the Trojans went on a 14-3 run and controlled the paint the entire way, outscoring their opponents 12-2 down low. They also scored four second-chance points.
USC took a 49-40 lead into the fourth quarter, which they soon stretched to double-digits. The Buffs attempted a final push, but could get no closer than seven points.
Trojan coach Mark Trakh explained why a win on Senior Day meant so much.
“I’m as proud of this group as anybody I’ve ever coached,” Trakh said. “They’re hardworking. I’ve got three kids working on their master’s. OK, These are the women of USC, they represent our university with class and dignity and that’s what I love about them.”
“They take care of business on and off the floor and I couldn’t be prouder.”
In their final regular season game at Galen Center, both Simon and Edwards finished in double figures, scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Even with the emotional ceremony prior to tipoff, Adams noted that there wasn’t any additional nerves going into her final regular season game.
“Just another game,” she said. “(I) Try to stay focused because I think you can get really distracted with all the pictures and everything before, but we have our eyes set on a bigger goal, so we just wanted to come in here and win this one.”
Colorado’s effort was led by Kennedy Leonard who scored 19 points with five assists. For coach JR Payne, the loss ultimately came down to rebounding.
“I didn’t think we played very well today. I thought we played intimidated and kind of soft,” she said.
“To get outrebounded by 12 in just the second half alone showed that we weren’t where we needed to be from a toughness standpoint, but I like our team. We’re playing good basketball. I think we’ve got good momentum going into the tournament and we’re excited to keep playing”
The Pac 12 Tournament will begin Thursday, March 1 at KeyArena in Seattle. USC will be the No. 7 seed and Colorado, the No. 8 seed.