Women’s basketball heads to northwest

first_imgSince January, Washington and Washington State haven’t enjoyed much success. Last week, both teams suffered winless trips to Arizona, dropping the Huskies to 3-5 on the road and extending Washington State’s losing streak to three games. The freshmen leading the Trojans’ effort will be matched against senior experience that both UW and WSU lean on. Husky senior guard Amber Melgoza currently averages a team-high 18.1 points per game while the Cougars’ redshirt senior forward Borislava Hristova leads the team with an average of 18.7 points per game. Both are constant scoring threats.  “She’s going to be a force for four years,” assistant head coach Jason Glover said. “And hopefully she’ll get selected as a Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, but she’s been huge. She’s our leading rebounder, leading scorer, second in minutes and now she’s a vital part of our organization.”  Freshman guard Endyia Rogers, while lacking the consistency Pili brings, has the shooting ability to carry the Trojans well beyond the 50-point mark and log solid shooting performances from the field. USC will also look to freshman forward Angel Jackson to fill in for graduate guard Aliyah Jeune, who is out with a knee injury.  While USC hasn’t fared well on the road this season either, the team’s performance last weekend against top competition in No. 15 Oregon State and No. 3 Oregon proves the Trojans are making significant progress.  The USC women’s basketball team is hitting the road for the last time in conference play to face Washington and Washington State this weekend. The Trojans beat both teams at Galen Center in January, with an 81-78 overtime win over the Huskies and a 74-63 victory over the Cougars. Freshman forward Alissa Pili made USC history Monday by receiving Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors for the third time this season, making her the first Trojan ever to receive this recognition three times. After a double-double performance against Oregon State and her 10th game scoring in double digits, Pili has established herself as one of the biggest threats in the Pac-12. In addition, home court advantage hasn’t favored the Huskies much this year — Washington has lost four of its last five home games. As a result of this disappointing performance, Washington currently sits at 11th in the Pac-12 and looks desperate to dig itself out of the bottom of the conference. A win against USC could help do just that, considering the Huskies trail Colorado and WSU by only one game heading into this weekend.  Head coach Mark Trakh has led a young USC squad to a 5-9 conference record and 13-12 record overall during his third year with the program. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan) Freshman forward Alissa Pili leads the Trojans in rebounds with 200. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan) “I think we need to tighten up on some little things [that] we’ve been struggling with defensively,” Pili said. “It was hurting us a lot — not getting out to shooters with urgency.” After allowing Oregon to shoot 56.5% from the field at Galen Center, Pili emphasized the importance of shutting down shooters like Melgoza and Hristova. The Trojans tip off in Seattle against Washington Friday at 7 p.m. and will face Washington State Sunday at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Wash. at 11:30 a.m.last_img

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