The USC women’s basketball team and JuJu Watkins were part of a special and star-studded doubleheader on Sunday afternoon in the Galen Center. Bronny James made his USC debut for the men’s team in the opening game of this unique twin bill. Then came the nightcap with JuJu and the undefeated Women of Troy.
Whereas the men fell in overtime and created a big downer for the crowd and the USC family, the women’s basketball team dominated UC Riverside early, often and late in an 85-53 win. JuJu Watkins was … JuJu Watkins, her normal self, scoring 27 points while handing out 5 assists and collecting 5 steals.
Rayah Marshall did her normal thing, too, registering yet another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds for USC.
Notably, forward Kaitlyn Davis, who had missed the past several games with an injury, returned for limited minutes as the Trojans eased her back into the lineup. The main thing for USC is to have Davis fully healthy for the huge December 30 game at UCLA. This was a good first step in that process.
USC led 24-7 after one quarter and 48-16 at halftime, creating a low-stress game in which backups could get a lot of playing time. The Trojans’ next game is Monday, December 18 against Cal State Fullerton in the Galen Center.
The Trojans are expected to be ranked in the top five of the national polls this week. Their game against UCLA in three weeks could be a top-five matchup, since the Bruins are No. 2 in the country.