Pat Haden’s hiring of USC legend Cynthia Cooper-Dyke as the Women of Troy’s head coach has paid off, as they are going dancing for the first time since 2006. The USC Trojans beat the Oregon State Beavers 71-62 on Sunday night to win the school’s first Pac-12 title in women’s basketball since 1994.
USC trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, before a Brianna Barrett three-pointer in the final seconds before the break sent the Trojans to the locker room with a seven-point deficit.
In the second half, the Women of Troy came alive and it was all Trojans. USC started the half with a 15-4 run to secure momentum. Key contributors Kiki Alofaituli and Ariya Cook had big second halves. Cook led the Trojans with 16 points overall, while Alexyz Vaioletama, Barrett and Alofaituli combined to go 14-15 from the charity stripe.
Senior Cassie Harberts had 12 points and five rebounds and will play her first national postseason game in this month’s NCAA Tournament since losing the WNIT final back in 2011.
It’s the seventh conference title for the USC women, but the first since the Pac-12 tournament was instituted. Next up is the NCAA Tournament which will release the seedings on March 17th, and begin on the 22nd.
The last time USC went to the big dance with a first-year head coach was in 2005 under Mark Trakh, who took the Trojans in his first two seasons.