USC Women Roll Over the Waves, 94-50

Times Staff Writer

The USC women’s basketball team is winning by huge margins, and Coach Linda Sharp keeps talking about how much experience the team is getting.

After Tuesday’s 94-50 blowout of Pepperdine, the unbeaten Trojans’ second victory of the season, Sharp was able to find something educational.

“I thought Pepperdine prepared well for us and our press,” she said. “They were trying to keep control of the ball. We saw some different things on defense that we’ll need.”


What the Trojans need is a team that can play with them for an entire game. The Waves (0-3) didn’t lack for trying in front of 500 fans in Firestone Fieldhouse. But it wasn’t a test for USC.

Last week against Brigham Young, USC was able to pull ahead and win, 102-53, when the Cougars got tired. Tuesday at Pepperdine, the Waves didn’t even try to keep up with the Trojan fast break.

And USC didn’t try too hard to keep the score down. With a 48-point lead and six minutes left, USC still had three starters playing.

“I want to push the tempo and score a lot of points this season,” Sharp said. “That means I have to play the players. There’s no way I’m trying to run the score up on anybody.

“What we are trying to do this year to keep that tempo and play defense the way we want. It’s early. We are trying to get ourselves in game condition. To do that, you have to play your people.”

Sharp got a good look at the “extended defense” she has so cherished. The Trojans ran a full-court press despite the point gap. That defense allowed the Waves only 17 points in the first half and forced Pepperdine players to rush shots. The Waves made only 19% of their shots in the first quarter.


USC had a 44-17 lead at the half, then came out and started over. The Trojans got four points in the first 18 seconds of the second half. That explosiveness is what can happen when USC’s fast break is running smoothly.

The return of guard Cynthia Cooper has added an extra dimension to the Trojan attack. Cooper is not only an excellent ball handler but also a fine shooter. She scored 10 points Tuesday.

Cheryl Miller had free rein at both ends of the floor and turned in her usual dominating performance--25 points, 5 assists, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots.