The Women of Troy started Pac-12 play with a statement win over UCLA in Pauley Pavilion and have not looked back since, winning six of their past seven games in conference play and nine of their last 10 games overall.
Fresh off an impressive seven-point victory over No. 19 California, USC continues its star-studded road trip against No. 4 Stanford tonight at 6 p.m. in what becomes a winner-take-all for the top spot in the standings.
Tonight's game will also feature an entertaining blast from the past as Southern California standout and WNBA legend Tina Thompson (@IamTinaThompson) will banter back and forth on Twitter with former Stanford Cardinal and current Tulsa Shock guard Candice Wiggins (@candicewiggins) throughout the broadcast.
USC's rise to the top has been chronicled with an upstart head coach sparking a winning resurgence. Stanford, meanwhile, is led by Tara VanDerveer, who is in the midst of her 28th season in Palo Alto. The Stanford program has reached the final four in five of the past six seasons, and holds an .832 winning percentage since she first arrived.
Stanford is led by one of the best players in the nation in senior Chiney Ogwumike, an elite player who averages a Pac-12 conference-leading 26.9 PPG and 12.2 RPG this season. The Cardinal has tremendous depth across its lineup, including the likes of Lili Thompson (7.8 PPG) and Amber Orrange (9.5 PPG) to spread the court.
The Women of Troy bring an equally balanced scoring attack to the table led by senior forward Cassie Harberts. The Wooden Presason Top-30 Finalist is averaging over 15 PPG this season and currently ranks 10th overall in USC's all-time scoring ranks.
Juniors Ariya Crook (16.1 PPG, scored 34 vs. Cal) and Alexyz Vaioletama (9.2 PTS, 7.5 RPG) will also shoulder the load on offense for USC against the best-ranked defensive squad in the conference.
Stanford leads the all-time series against USC, 51-19, and has won 12 in a row against the Trojans. The last time the Trojans defeated the Cardinal was a 73-72 victory in Los Angeles on Jan. 6, 2008. That said, the Women of Troy are confident they can go into Maples Pavilion and give the Cardinal all it can handle on its home court.
Tonight's USC-Stanford Pac-12 matchup will be broadcast live on ESPN2, with Dave Pasch on play-by-play and analysis from Rebecca Lobo and Bill Walton. In what should be quite the strong benchmark for USC's program, the Women of Troy believe if they play fundamental basketball, they can shock the world on national television against Stanford.