The USC women’s basketball team hopes to build off its 65-56 win over Pepperdine on Sunday, as the Women of Troy continue their season against Arkansas State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Nebraska on Friday at 2 p.m. Both games are at the Galen Center.
Arkansas State is currently unranked, while Nebraska is ranked No. 23.
The Women of Troy (1-1) were led by junior forward Cassie Harberts, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Waves, and Ariya Crook, who scored 17 points in her first game of the season. She missed the season opener against Gonzaga because of a coach’s decision.
“I’m not settling on it,” said Crook about the team’s first win, “We have more work to do and we just have to continue on throughout the road.”
Harberts is averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game this year, leading USC in both categories. She’s the only player to score in double figures in both games. Crook is the only other player to score in double figures for USC. Co-captain senior forward Christina Marinacci is averaging 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
The Women of Troy still have room to improve, however, as evidenced by 23 turnovers for the second-straight game. They also committed 23 turnovers and 18 fouls in a 63-52 loss to Gonzaga in the season opener.
USC has been strong on the boards this season, outrebounding Gonzaga 34-31 and Pepperdine 44-29. They have also come back strong after the half, outscoring their opponents 68-58 in the second half, despite being outscored 61-49 by opponents in the first half.
“I don’t think it was about the other team rattling us as much us our team trying to move a little faster than we should,” said USC coach Michael Cooper when asked about the turnovers.
Both Arkansas State (0-3) and Nebraska (3-1) will head to Los Angeles after games against Southeast Missouri (2-2) on Monday and against Sam Houston State (1-2) on Tuesday, respectively. Nebraska is undefeated at home but winless on the road.
Arkansas State is coming off a 60-51 loss at home to Wichita State on Thursday. The team is led by Jane Morrill (13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game) and Carlisha Wyatt (11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game). The Red Wolves are coming off a 12-18 record from last season, and 6-10 in the Sun Belt conference. They finished fifth in the Sun Belt west division.
Nebraska lost 60-55 against South Dakota State, despite 21 points by Lindsey Moore and 15 points from Jordan Hooper, causing them to drop from 15th to 23rd in the NCAA rankings. Hooper is averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season, while Moore is averaging 14.0 points and 5.0 assists per game. The Cornhuskers finished 24-9 last season, 10-6 in the Big Ten, good for a sixth-place finish. They earned a the sixth seed in the NCAA tournament last season, only to be upset in the first round by 11th-seeded Kansas.
Friday’s game against Nebraska will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.