Women’s hoops welcomes tough UCLA to Galen

first_imgIn the first crosstown contest, the Bruins were led by 21-point performances from both Onyenwere and senior guard Japreece Dean. “Kayla plays her heart out,” Trakh said. “She’s got spirit, she’s tough, she’s aggressive, she’s a great kid and she’s showing the younger kids how hard you have to play to succeed in the Pac-12.”  USC will tip off at Galen Center against the Bruins Friday at 7:30 p.m. Trakh acknowledged the recent improvements and expressed confidence in his team moving forward, praising his team for their effort and energy heading into Friday’s matchup. In the matchup, USC went down early by double digits and battled to stay in the game. A back-breaking third quarter saw the Bruins outscore USC 26-16, essentially icing the game. USC comes into the game at 8-8 overall on the season with a five-game losing streak on its shoulders that began in that loss to UCLA to open conference play. “Honestly, that means we’re making shots,” Overbeck said. “It’s starting to come together right before one of the biggest games.” “I think from the first meeting we saw that we needed the start off right out the gate and we needed to finish the game,” senior Kayla Overbeck said after practice Tuesday. The USC women’s basketball team is set to take on No. 7 UCLA Friday at Galen Center and will be looking for a split in the season series after falling in Westwood in December. The Bruins come into the game undefeated at 16-0, posting a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. Overbeck was vocal and adamant about remaining poised when the Bruins attempt to push the tempo or make USC uncomfortable, adding that since the UCLA game, the Trojans have made it a point to increase the pace of practice both individually and as a team. The Newbury Park native is a veteran presence in the locker room for a young USC team, and Trakh praised her leadership skills. If Overbeck is any indication, the Trojans are energized and motivated to get revenge on the Bruins after being handled at Pauley Pavilion over two weeks ago. “It’s really for pride because we got embarrassed,” Overbeck said. “That’s what we felt, we were embarrassed after that game and it’s to make sure that that never happens again and we do that to them.” In USC’s last game at Utah, five players eclipsed double-digit scoring for the first time this season, a welcomed sight for players and coaches alike.  “She’s a future first round WNBA Draft pick, so we’ve got to play her as hard as we can,” USC head coach Mark Trakh said of Onyenwere. “So we play a straight man-to-man and we’re gonna try to stop her.” UCLA will be led by junior forward Michaela Onyenwere, who’s averaging 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting just over 50% from the field. Senior forward Kayla Overbeck led the Trojans with two steals in USC’s 83-59 loss to UCLA Dec. 29. (Yannick Peterhans | Daily Trojan) “We’re gonna do exactly what they did to us, back to them,” Overbeck said. “We’re gonna take their pressure, take everything they did to us … and just play our game.”  UCLA will pose a tough task for Trakh and his unit as they aim to corral the red-hot Bruins early in the game. “We’re getting better every game, we just gotta improve,” Trakh said. “They’re good kids. They’re together … I love my team.” last_img read more

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