The USC women's basketball team was ready for a little revenge against Saint Mary's after a 71-55 loss last season. The Women of Troy (5-2) were also looking to collect their sixth straight victory.
But it wasn't meant to be for the Trojans. The Gaels (6-1) jumped out to an early lead and the Women of Troy shot poorly from the field all night, falling 64-58 at McKeon Pavilion Saturday evening.
Saint Mary's pushed its lead to 10 points in the first half, but Courtney Jaco knocked down a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining to trim the Gaels lead to 31-24 at halftime.
In the second half, USC scored the first four points to trim the lead even further. With 8:25 remaining, Kiki Alofaituli got a steal and fed Jaco for a fast break bucket to tie the game, 44-44. But Saint Mary's responded with an 8-1 run to regain control.
USC cut the lead down to 60-56 on an old fashioned three-point play from Jaco with 55 seconds remaining, but that was as close as it would get. The Trojans turned the ball over on their next possession and missed a layup the following time they got the ball.
Jaco and Briana Barrett led the Women of Troy with 11 points each. They did it in completely different ways though. Jaco was 4-for-6 from the field and knocked down two of her three long-distance shots while Barrett struggled tremendously from the field (2-for-14 FG; 0-for-2 on 3PT), but got to the line 10 times. Barrett also had five assists and three rebounds.
Alexyz Vaioletama was productive when she was on the floor, scoring nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. She also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. However, the Trojans' leading scorer was in foul trouble throughout the game and played only 19 minutes -- seven and a half less than her season average entering the game.
The Trojans had trouble containing Lauren Richardson, who finished with 22 points. She went 9-for-17 from the floor. USC did force her into seven turnovers, but it wasn't enough to make up for USC's poor shooting. The Women of Troy shot only 31.7 percent from the field and were 3-for-12 from beyond the three-point line.
USC will look to get back on track on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PST when it starts a seven-game home stand against Cal State Northridge -- a team that beat the Trojans last season.