USC comes from 19 down, beats Washington State in 2OT on Senior Day

The 2023 USC women’s basketball team just doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” It never has, and it never will.

USC has spent nearly the whole season fighting the odds and fighting its subpar shooting. The Trojans lost a number of achingly close games this season despite shooting poorly. They could have lost faith when they dropped two games to UCLA by a combined total of four points.

Nope, they kept fighting. They upset Stanford and put themselves on the map. Then they became much more of a target for every Pac-12 opponent they faced. They became a team everyone else in the Pac-12 wanted to beat.

They played one overtime game after another.

Exhaustion? Yeah, it did matter against Cal, when the Trojans finally looked spent, but most of the time, the long games with a relatively thin bench didn’t deter this team from its main goal of making the NCAA Tournament.

USC was — in our estimation — an NCAA Tournament lock before Saturday’s Senior Day game against Washington State, but a win would have completely sealed the deal, just in case anyone wondered.

When the Trojans fell behind Wazzu 41-22 with 3:45 left in the third quarter — 13:45 left in the game — it seemed USC was going to move to the Pac-12 Tournament with a tiny shred of doubt.

With 3:45 left in the third, USC wasn’t just trailing by 19; the Trojans were 9 of 43 from the field, barely above 20 percent. Their defense was fine, but with the offense going through a familiar slump, the outlook seemed bleak.

Did the Trojans care about that? Nope. “Fight On!” is a true article of faith for this team.

Beginning at the 3:45 mark of the third quarter, USC limited Washington State to seven points in the next 14 minutes and 45 seconds. The Trojans tied the game at 48 and eventually survived into overtime, then double overtime. In the second OT period, Kadi Sissoko scored six huge points. The USC defense — which forced 23 Washington State turnovers and allowed only 11 free throw attempts in 50 stellar minutes — allowed just five points total to WSU in double overtime.

USC 68, Washington State 65. USC won despite shooting under 30 percent. The Trojans shot 22 percent and nearly beat Stanford a second time one week ago. They shot 28 percent and still beat Washington on Thursday night. USC has continuously overcome its lack of shooting this season. This might have been the best example of all.

This win was and is and always will be the perfect Senior Day sendoff for a memorable group which turned around USC women’s basketball.

The Pac-12 Tournament can wait. Stop for a moment to savor the journey this team has made, and the heart this special season has required.

USC women’s basketball in 2023 is the dictionary definition of toughness. It will get to Fight On into March and play for high stakes.

Get used to it. The new era of toughness has arrived for the Women of Troy.

More 1932 Rose Bowl!

Former Tulane coach Bernie Bierman could be the greatest CFB coach no one knows about

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire