USC defense remains dominant as Pac-12 regular season ends
The USC women’s basketball team gained a defensive groove this season and never really left it, save for an occasional aberration which could easily be chalked up to fatigue or an elite opponent.
USC’s 68-65 double-overtime win over Washington State on Saturday was a game in which the Trojans allowed just 53 points in regulation. That marked the 11th time in the Trojans’ last 14 games that they held a Pac-12 opponent to 54 points or fewer in regulation time.
It began on a Friday the 13th — January 13 against Cal. The USC defense has been stacked on top of one another since that win 63 to 43. Only three exceptions are Utah (January 27), Arizona (February 5), and Cal (February 19).
Utah could be the No. The NCAA Tournament will be the No. 1 seed. Stanford and the Utes are co-Pac-12 champs.
Arizona will be the No. Arizona will be the No.
The Cal game was one which got away, but even then, there’s an explanation: The Trojans emptied the tank two nights earlier against Stanford Luckily, there was not much left for the Golden Bears.
USC’s defense has been as close to perfect as any team or coaching staff could possibly imagine.
How great was USC’s defense on Saturday against Washington State? The Cougars were able to score 25 baskets in just 50 minutes of basketball. That’s good to begin with. This is even more: 23 Washington State turnovers were imposed by USC.
USC has played a number of games this season in which an opponent’s number of made baskets is similar to its number of turnovers committed.
USC is also continuing to defend without fouling. Washington State was able to score just 11 free points in the 50-minute game. This defense makes very few errors, so USC can still shoot poorly but win.
Here’s the proof to back up that last claim: USC has shot under 30 percent in each of these two recent games in the Galen Center against Washington and Washington State. The Trojans were 2-0.
Lindsay Gottlieb, Beth Burns and their team have built one of the most formidable defenses in the country. As we wrote earlier this week, if USC can simply shoot 40 percent, this team can make a very deep run in March.