Los Angeles, CA -- After the rivalry match-up 12 days ago, the Trojans made sure to take full control the second time around, defeating the UCLA Bruins 71-68.
"I needed to be what my team needed. Rebounding from a guard position, I knew would be huge and I was right in there," commented Jordan Adams, who was the star of the night for the Trojans.
Jordin Canada would put the UCLA Bruins on the board first with a three-pointer after the first minute of play.
Canada sized up Brianna Barrett and stole the ball, proceeding to drive for a wide open layup to put the Bruins up, 8-2 with 5:12 left in the first quarter.
Straight off of a USC timeout, Courtney Jaco would sink a much-needed Trojan three-pointer, followed by Temi Fagbenle's two-point put back to trail only by three.
Jordan Adams drove up the middle for a layup and was fouled by UCLA's Monique Billings, making it a three-point play. USC took the lead for the first time in the game, 18-16 to end the first quarter.
Bruin Lajahna Drummer, opened up the second quarter with two free throws after being fouled by freshman forward Marguerite Effa under the basket to tie the game, 18-18.
With a calculated pass from Jaco, Sadie Edwards dropped a wide open three-pointer.
Then on the very next play, Edwards would score a nice layup after stealing the ball from Kelli Hayes, giving the Trojans a, 23-18 lead with five minutes left in the half.
After receiving a defensive foul, Canada would connect with Fields under the hoop to trail only by, 27-24 at the half.
Coming into the second half with tons of energy, would be the USC Trojans, scoring off the first three possessions. Edwards passed to Fagbenle under the hoop for a quick basket followed by an Adams layup.
Barrett would thrive off the Trojans' momentum passing to Kristen Simon for another Trojans basket, pulling the lead 33-24.
Thriving off of another UCLA turnover, Adams swung the ball to wide-open Edwards for a three-pointer, making the lead, 41-30.
But Canada was not going down without a fight, putting up nine points the last three minutes of the quarter, trailing 47-40. Canada would finish the game with 24 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
At the start of the fourth, tensions were high between the crosstown rivals, both wanting not only the win, but also bragging rights.
Fields would drive for a Bruin layup, making it a close five point game.
Fagbenle drove for a layup and was fouled by Pauline Hersler, making it an easy three-point play. Barrett would connect with Fagbenle under the hoop for another basket, followed by a foul for another three-point play.
With exceptional defense, the Trojans were able to pull away from the Bruins, taking an 11 -point lead with 4:56 left in the game. Guard Kari Korver, would sink a crucial UCLA three-pointer with 2:16 left. After the timeout called by the Bruins, Drummer fouled Fagbenle and only made one of the two free throws, leading 63-56.
Lots of aggression was on the court, as Adams made two free throws after being fouled by Korver on the wing with 1:17 left to play.
Adams was taken to the line again after being fouled by Korver and made both shots once again, pulling the lead to nine. With less than 10 seconds left on the clock, Canada connected with Korver for a deep three-pointer, trailing by three, but it would all be for naught.
The Trojans squeezed by with a 71-68 victory over the UCLA Bruins. Fagbenle finished the night with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Adams had 13 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals against her crosstown rival.
When asked about Fagbenle's fourth quarter performance, Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said, " I knew she was tired, but I knew she could give us what we needed in that moment. She was dialed in and ready to perform and gave us exactly what we needed in that moment of the game to be successful."