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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Basketball

USC Women's Basketball Team Excited for Pac-12 Tournament

The Trojans look to begin their postseason run on Thursday after an opening round bye.

The USC women's basketball team will play its first game of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday against either Washington State or Oregon State. Coming off back-to-back wins at Washington and Washington State, the Trojans clinched third in the conference, giving them a first round bye and an extra day of practice. The Trojans look to build on their six-game winning streak and secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament later this month.

The Beavers and Cougars will face each other for the third time this season. In their first meeting in Corvallis, Washington State won in double overtime, thanks to a solid performance by senior Jazmine Perkins and the team's perfect shooting at the line. A month later, Oregon State traveled to Pullman and took revenge, winning 51-39.

The sixth-seeded Beavers finished the season 18-11 overall and 9-9 in conference. In its only meeting with USC this year, Oregon State won in overtime 65-61. In that game, Oregon State junior Sage Indendi put up 17 points, and freshman Ali Gibson finished with 14, scoring four of the final nine points in overtime. Trojan senior guard Ashley Corral scored 20 that game,and USC's bench outscored Oregon State's 13-5. Interestingly, the Beavers outrebounded USC 41-38, revealing an important statistic for Thursday's game if the two teams meet again. USC is 37-19 all-time against Oregon State, a team that has never advanced past the second round of the conference tournament.

Washington State, seeded 11th in the upcoming tournament, ended regular season play with a 11-19 record and a 5-13 record within the Pac-12. The Cougars lost to the Trojans in early February by a score of 67-62 and again at home this past Saturday, 65-54. Sophomore Brandi Thomas led the Cougars with 17 points on Saturday, followed closely by teammate Rosie Tarnowsky, who added 11. Senior Jazmine Perkins is the player to watch for Washington State, averaging 8.2 points per game and earning six double-doubles on the season. Corral had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the game at Pullman this weekend, and USC junior forward Christina Marinacci finished with 18. Washington State is 0-10 all-time in Pac-12 Tournament play and has lost 8 of their last 9 conference games.

The Trojans are 18-11 on the season and 12-6 in Pac-12 play heading into the tournament. Marinacci is this week's Pac-12 Player of the Week, the first player to earn weekly honors this season for SC. She is streaking at the right time, having earned her fourth double-double of the season last week against Washington (19 points, 12 rebounds), followed by an impressive 18 point performance against Washington State on Saturday.

ATVN asked the junior to comment on her award to which she responded, "I was definitely surprised. I didn't expect it."

When asked about the team's upcoming game against either Washington State or Oregon State, Marinacci commented, "It's a huge game for us coming up. No matter who we play I think we just need to focus on our game. Playing our game and playing together is really going to take us far."

Oregon State and Washington State play at the Galen Center Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. The winner faces the Trojans on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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