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Short-handed USC drops third in a row, 57-47 to Stanford

Short-handed USC drops third in a row, 57-47 to Stanford
USCforward Temi Fagbenle,shown during a game earlier this season, had 11 points and nine rebounds in a loss to Stanford on Friday. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Karlie Samuelson scored 14 points and the 12th-ranked Cardinal beat USC, 57-47, on Friday night at the Galen Center for their eighth straight road win over the Trojans.

Erika McCall had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Lili Thompson added 11 points and Kaylee Johnson had 13 rebounds for the Cardinal (15-4, 5-2 Pac-12).

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Temi Fagbenle had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead the Trojans (14-5, 2-5). They dropped their third in a row since losing starters Jordan Adams and Brianna Barrett, who are academically ineligible. Alexis Lloyd added 10 points.

"Tough night, disappointing effort," USC Coach Cynthia Cooper said. "If you want to win a basketball game, you got to earn it. We've got to get better at executing offensively and more consistent effort defensively."

Adams and Barrett are averaging a combined 20.4 points.

"It obviously affects us, but someone has to step up," Cooper said. "We can't use that as an excuse."

Stanford was coming off a 58-50 loss at Oregon State last week.

"The Oregon State game was a dagger to us," McCall said. "Coming in here, you know you got to play well."

Stanford has won nine of its last 11. The Cardinal are 2-1 so far on their four-game trip.

"At one point, I looked and there were two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior out there," Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We did a better job defensively in the second half. I was real excited at how Kaylee came in and rebounded."

Stanford controlled the boards, 44-32, and held USC to 31% shooting.

Stanford pulled away in the fourth quarter, getting Samuelson's fourth 3-pointer of the game for a 51-38 lead. The Trojans struggled from the free-throw line, going 6 of 17. Fagbenle, a graduate student from Harvard, was just 5 of 12.

Sadie Edwards scored eight of USC's final nine points, getting a couple steals for quick layups in the final 19 seconds.

"We have to be more patient offensively to find the open player," Cooper said. "They have to be ready to penetrate and knock down the shot. We struggled to get in an offensive flow."

The Cardinal outscored USC 15-10 in the third quarter to extend their lead to 43-34. Samuelson scored eight points, hitting 3-pointers to open and close the period, when Stanford took its first double-digit lead of the game. Fagbenle made 3 of 4 free throws that cut USC's deficit to single digits heading into the fourth.

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