Women of Troy look to continue success in Oregon

first_imgAfter defending its home court against both Arizona schools last weekend, the women’s basketball team looks to take that momentum and energy on the road this weekend. The team will first face No. 9 Oregon on Friday, who will be coming back from a road sweep in Washington, before taking on No. 15 Oregon State on Sunday. Last season, the Trojans surprised everyone, especially Oregon State, by breaking their seven-game losing streak with a 70-50 win against the Beavers. The team is looking to do the same and more this time around. Forward Kristen Simon is one of three seniors on the Trojans’ squad. Tucker Judkins | Daily Trojan“They know better than me because they did it last year,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “So, I’m going to ask them, ‘How did you beat Oregon State in front of 6,000 people?’ and they’re going to tell me and I’m going to say, ‘You’re going to do the exact same thing, OK?’ So, they know. [They did] it last year, so that’s what we are going to rely on: their experience from last year.”All the starters, except graduate student guard Jordan Adams, who was out with a knee injury her senior year, played against the Oregon schools’ last season. In addition to experience, the starters have been averaging close to the full 40 minutes per game. With that, not only are the players’ stamina improving, but they have also been using every minute to keep practicing for the tough games to come.“I feel like I’m in great shape,” senior guard Sadie Edwards said. “I look at it as a blessing. When I’m not in the game, I am itching to go back in … Being out there as much as I am, it makes me prepared. We’ve been in close games, we’ve got a tough weekend coming up, but there isn’t much that we haven’t seen and [the coaches] do a really good job with calling timeouts and getting us rest when we can, so I feel good about it.”The players will have to bring that spirit to Oregon with them as they are taking on two tough teams back to back. Oregon’s sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu is averaging 19.4 points per game in comparison to USC senior forward Kristen Simon’s 17.5. However, the Trojans have recently shown a balanced effort from all their starters — each are contributing points, rebounds and assists. Along with that, bench players, like forwards sophomore Ja’Tavia Tapley and junior Marguerite Effa, have slowly seen an increase in playing time and are making plays for their teams when they come in. “We are getting a really balanced effort and we’re playing together,” Edwards said. “Sharing the basketball is fun. When you play together, you play as a team, you defend. I think it’s a lot easier to go out there and play.”The chemistry of the team is tangible. The bench is cheering in response to every point made and the team’s constant communication on the court is audible. Their season hasn’t been perfect, but Trakh is excited for where the team is headed and is only hopeful for what the future brings; he has seen positive progress from the beginning of the season until now. “I think it took a while to evolve there, to think rebounding, defense, assists, the team chemistry, how you relate to your team,” Trakh said. “And it’s ongoing. We’re going to keep working every day. Everything is not perfect right now, but we can work with them and they can work with each other, but I think it’s good right now and I think we are in a good place headed into our last four games.”last_img

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