JuJu Watkins ties a Cheryl Miller USC record in Trojans’ win over Oregon

USC guard JuJu Watkins stands on the court during a game against UCLA.
USC guard JuJu Watkins, shown here playing against UCLA on Dec. 30, scored 33 points for the Trojans in an 88-51 win over Oregon on Friday night.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Freshman sensation JuJu Watkins scored 33 points and No. 10 USC defeated Oregon 88-51 on Friday night for its fifth consecutive victory.

Watkins was 12 for 25 from the field, including three foreight on three-pointers, despite leaving the game for a while in the third quarter because of a bloody nose. She also made six of seven free throws and grabbed eight rebounds for the Trojans (19-4, 9-4 Pac-12).

It was the 10th time Watkins has scored 30 or more points, tying Trojans great Cheryl Miller for the most in one season at USC.


“I can’t say enough about our young superstar,” coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “She keeps getting better, she’s coachable and she learns from the film.”

McKenzie Forbes added 12 points for USC. Kaitlyn Davis had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

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Dec. 30, 2023

Chance Gray scored 12 to lead the Ducks (11-15, 2-11), who have lost eight straight games — seven against ranked teams. Grace VanSlooten added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists. Phillipina Kyei pulled down 18 rebounds to go with 10 points.

After giving up the first basket of the game, USC responded with 19 points in a row.

“I am super impressed with the way we came out,” Gottlieb said. “Obviously, Oregon has had some struggles in the win-loss department, but watching their games on film, they have been there in the third quarter and we know they are going to beat someone. I was impressed with our focus and the way we shot the ball. We still have some things to improve on, but obviously a good win here tonight. It was huge to get that separation early.”

Kayla Padilla scored inside before Watkins followed with a bucket. Watkins had 12 straight points to put the Trojans ahead 17-2 before Rayah Marshall — who finished with 12 rebounds — added a basket.

“We prepared well,” Davis said. “We knew coming in that they would go into a zone and so we were all confident in each other that we would make the right play and take what they gave us. It was a team effort.”

Watkins scored 14 points in the first quarter as the Trojans shot 10 for 20 from the field to take a 29-7 lead. Oregon was three for 22 from the floor in the quarter.

Forbes made a three-pointer to push USC ahead 43-13 in the second before Watkins scored eight consecutive points to extend the margin to 50-17. Watkins drained a 30-foot shot at the buzzer to leave USC up 57-21 at halftime.


“Her first half was about as good as it could possibly get and she contributes to winning,” Gottlieb said.

Watkins scored 24 points in the first half as USC shot 21 for 37 from the field, including seven for 16 on threes. Oregon was 10 for 37 from the floor and one for six on threes.

Big picture

USC: Heading into Sunday’s showdown with No. 11 Oregon State, the Trojans are 3-3 against ranked opponents as they prepare for a three-game stretch that also includes Colorado and Utah.

Oregon: After facing No. 9 UCLA on Sunday, the Ducks finally get three consecutive games against unranked foes. This is the first time Oregon has been under .500 this late in the season under 10th-year coach Kelly Graves since his first year on the job.