Women’s basketball looks to build on momentum

first_imgWSU will look to senior forward Borislava Hristova to produce in the paint. Hristova currently leads the team with an average of 19.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The USC women’s basketball team will begin its season series against Washington State Friday at Galen Center.  “[We focused on] keeping it at that standard [and] not letting it slide back down to how it was previously,” Overbeck said. “We had a really good week leading up to UCLA, and so keeping that foot-on-the-pedal type of mentality and mindset in every single week no matter who we play [is important].” Senior forward Kayla Overbeck is expected to play a big role as well in Friday night’s game. At practice Wednesday, Overbeck was adamant about not underestimating the Cougars. USC is averaging 39.9 rebounds per game and had a dominant 52-rebound showing last week, and if the team wants to continue the trend, it’ll need Pili and Overbeck to box out the Cougars aggressively.  WSU’s veteran squad will match up against a young USC team. Hristova will play against Pac-12 Freshman of the Week forward Alissa Pili, whose career-high 17-rebound performance against UCLA Friday proved pivotal in a tight win for the Trojans. The Trojans have made improvements in their defensive effort — a focus of head coach Mark Trakh since repeated losses that resulted from scoring streaks by opponents early on in games. After a double-overtime 70-68 win against rival No. 10 UCLA that broke the Bruins’ five-game losing streak, the Trojans are looking to carry their momentum into the rest of conference play.  “Offensively or defensively, they got to be on their game,” Trakh said. “We were on our game, but now are we going to continue it? Have we learned how to play hard? We’ll see this weekend.” Senior guard Chanelle Molina figures to lead WSU’s 3-point shooting effort as she is shootng 42.2% from beyond the arc this season. She has made 43 3-pointers this year, a team high. The game against WSU also marks the end of a January home stretch for USC. After Friday night’s game, USC will face off against Washington before a three-and-a-half-week hiatus from Galen Center.  As the Trojans approach the halfway mark in conference play, these matchups will be crucial in digging the Trojans out of 11th place in the conference. USC will tip off at Galen Center against the Cougars Friday at 7 p.m. USC leads WSU 50-18 in the all-time series and has won its last four games against the Cougars. However, WSU currently has a one-game edge over the Trojans in the Pac-12 with wins over California and Washington.  Freshman forward Alissa Pili recorded a double-double in USC’s victory over UCLA at home. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan) “I just play for my team and to win,” Pili said. “Honestly, my individual goal is not as big as what I want to achieve with my whole team and just our success winning this season.”last_img

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