Vaioletama's Career Night Not Enough for Women of Troy

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Alexyz Vaioletama was unable to cap her career night (21 points, 18 rebounds) with a game-winning, tip-in reverse layup as USC fell 65-64 at Cal State Northridge.

The USC women's basketball team couldn't carry the momentum from its back-to-back wins to end the Cancun Challenge - Mayan Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Women of Troy dropped a back-and-forth battle 65-64 to Cal State Northridge (3-7) at The Matadome Tuesday night when Alexyz Vaioletama's attempt to tip in an Ariya Crook miss rolled off the rim as the final buzzer sounded.

It was Northridge's first win over USC (5-4) since 1977-78.

Cal State Northridge 65, USC 64

The Good:

  • Vaioletama had the finest game of her career. The junior notched her first career double-double in fine form with new career highs for points (21) and rebounds (18). She bested her previous highs by seven points and three rebounds. Vaioletama and Cassie Harberts took advantage of Northridge's smaller starting frontcourt throughout the game and dominated on the boards. The duo combined for 30 rebounds, including 16 on the offensive end.
  • Harberts had her strongest game of the year, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists and a block. The senior scored the Trojans' first five points to move her into 15th place on USC's all-time scoring list, passing Camille LeNoir.
  • The Women of Troy shot well in the first half. They knocked down 13 of their 24 field goals (54.3 percent).

The Bad:

  • Despite shooting well in the first half, USC trailed 35-33 at halftime due to its inability to take care of the ball. The Trojans had 17 turnovers in the game with 11 of them coming in the first half.
  • CSUN's starting backcourt trio of Ashlee Guay, Cinnamon Lister and Janae Sharpe combined for 36 points and 18 assists.

The Ugly:

  • Cal State Northridge was seemingly able to get into the lane whenever it wanted. The Trojans man-to-man defense was lackluster, at best. It was particularly porous in the first half when the Matadors scored only one two-point field goal outside of the paint.
  • USC lost the game due to its inability to make free throws. As a team, the Women of Troy shot under 50 percent, making 10 of their 21 attempts. Their senior captain, Harberts, was one of the primary culprits. She was only 4-of-10 from the line, including twice missing the front end of the one-and-one bonus.

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