Southern Cal 56, Oregon State 54

Southern Cal 56, Oregon State 54


LOS ANGELES - JuJu Watkins scored 28 points, Kayla Padilla connected for two crucial 3-pointers during the fourth quarter and No. 9 Southern California rallied for a 56-54 win over Oregon State to deal the Beavers their first loss.

Watkins is second in the nation in scoring, averaging 26.8 points per game. She scored the Trojans’ first nine points and then had a run of nine unanswered points in the second half to get USC back in the game.

Padilla had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, as the Trojans (11-1, 1-1 Pac-12) won despite shooting 22 of 68 from the floor.

Talia von Oelhoffen led Oregon State (12-1, 1-1) with 18 points and Donovyn Hunter added 13.

A pair of free throws by von Oelhoffen put Oregon State up 42-36 with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter before Watkins took control with nine straight points to give the Trojans a 45-42 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Watkins’ run included two baskets that were the result of USC’s defense forcing turnovers. After Roxane Makolo forced a turnover in the paint, Watkins grabbed the loose ball, drove down the court on a fast break and drew a foul while making a layup. She made the free throw to complete the 3-point play.

On the ensuing possession, Watkins stole the ball from Lily Hansford at midcourt and made both her free throws after getting fouled. She then hit a jumper with 32 seconds remaining in the quarter to give USC a 43-42 lead going into the final 10 minutes.

Oregon State regained the lead with five straight points but a 3-pointer by McKenzie Forbes put the Trojans back on top for good. Padilla’s jumper from the perimeter gave USC a 56-51 advantage with 2:17 remaining.

It would be the Trojans last basket though. Oregon State got within a basket on a 3-point play by Rees with 1:34 remaining. It had a chance to send it into overtime, but Raegan Beers had a layup blocked by Rayah Marshall with one tick on the clock to preserve the win.


Oregon State: Beers came in averaging a double-double, but had only eight points and six rebounds.

USC: Watkins got the Trojans back in the game, but it was the perimeter shooting from Padilla and Forbes that allowed them to get their first win in Pac-12 play.

January 5, 2024