Women’s hoops falls short in last-minute effort vs. Cal

first_imgFacing two tough Pac-12 teams this past weekend, the women’s basketball team had to battle both to the bitter end. Clashing with Stanford on Friday and then quickly turning around to face No. 21 Cal on Sunday, the Trojans ultimately fell to both in the last two minutes of play.Graduate student guard Jordan Adams recorded 10 rebounds in the Trojans’ match against the Cal Bears on Sunday. Sunny Dong | Daily Trojan“I thought it was a well-played offensive game,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “I am very happy with the effort of my team and very happy with Minyon’s effort tonight. We’re on the road right now, we’re 3 and 5 and we’ve got to figure out a way to get back to .500.”Taking on Cal is certainly no easy task, especially when Cal’s starting center, junior Kristine Anigwe, is widely considered to be one of the best players in the country. Averaging 17.9 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, Anigwe is strong on the boards and at the 3-point range. Even with an impressive game of 20 points, the Trojans’ strong defense was able to keep her to only 3 points in the second quarter and two rebounds in the first half before she would foul out in the fourth quarter.“We wanted to go inside,” Trakh explained. “I thought Kristen did a good job on her with the help Minyon went down and stole the ball a couple of times, but she is obviously a great player and that was big for us to stay in the game and getting her into foul trouble.”The Trojans’ defense has been strong throughout the season, but stood out in their games this weekend even with the losses. With 19 steals and 13 blocks total from the weekend, the team kept its opponents on their toes. More impressive though is the fact that four of the Trojan starters ­— guards sophomore Minyon Moore, senior Sadie Edwards and junior Aliyah Mazyck, with forward senior Kristen Simon — played 78-80 minutes of two 40-minute games and were still able to fight until the very end.“I think that since we don’t have a deep, deep bench, I think our starting five is doing a really good job,” Moore said. “And even though we are fatigued we are playing through it because we take it game by game and it’s not about yourself, we play for our team.”Trakh shared his opinion on the Trojans’ strengths.“We think we’re a defensive team,” Trakh said. “We wind up holding them to 62 points. I mean we really did a good job in the second half and they scored 27 points in the second half, so that is a pretty good defensive effort from us. We bring our defense all the time, bring it on the road, bring it home, but I think we’re doing a good job on the defensive end.”With both games coming down to the wire, it was Mazyck and Moore who would stood for the Trojans. Mazyck continued to prove herself a force to be reckoned with on the court, after getting down early in the first quarter against Stanford. She went on to make three 3-pointers in a row, changing the lead and the momentum of the game to allow her team back into the fight. Then, on Sunday, Moore led the charge against Cal with 19 points, three steals and two blocks.“Aliyah is having a great year and she is doing a great job for us so we’re really proud of the effort she is making, as I am of all the kids,” Trakh said.Overall, the weekend may not have ended the way USC wanted but in both games, the team fought hard throughout and never backed down.last_img read more

Yanks End Skid, Beat Bosox, 5-1

first_imgNEW YORK — Brian McCann will have all winter to figure out what went wrong in his first year with the New York Yankees. In the meantime, he’s trying to help them make a late push to reach the playoffs.McCann homered among his career high-tying four hits and the Yankees bounced back to end a three-game losing streak, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 Wednesday night.“It’s just good to contribute,” he said.McCann homered a day earlier as the Yankees got battered by Boston, leaving them five games behind for the second AL wild-card spot. In the rematch with the last-place Red Sox, he drove in three runs and gave an early cushion to Hiroki Kuroda (10-8).McCann has mostly been a disappointment with the Yankees, stuck in a season-long slump. A seven-time All-Star for Atlanta, he signed a rich free-agent deal with New York but hasn’t hit much, prompting Manager Joe Girardi to note before the game, “I think he expected more from himself.”“It took me longer to get going with the bat than normal,” McCann agreed. “I haven’t tried to dissect it.” McCann went 4-for-4 after opening the game hitting .237, 40 points below his career average.Then again, nobody has really hit much among these longtime rivals. They began the day as the two lowest-scoring teams in the AL, and no one in either starting lineup was batting over .285.Kuroda gave up one run and four hits in seven innings, striking out eight without a walk. He evened his mark at 78-78 in seven seasons for the Yankees and Dodgers.Anthony Ranaudo (3-1) lost for the first time in his four starts since making his big league debut. Boston kept up its weeklong pattern of alternating wins and losses.McCann connected for his 17th homer, a two-run shot in the second. The drive quieted Ranaudo’s sizable cheering section — raised in central New Jersey, he beat the Yankees last month in his first game.“I was a little disappointed that we lost the game in general, that the team lost the game,” Ranaudo said. “I wasn’t really worried about my family or friends. It’s great that they were here, that they support me and everything like that, but the team is definitely way more important.”McCann got four hits for the 11th time in his career, capped by an RBI single in the seventh. He’s homered 15 times at home this year, and launched his latest shot to right field over the overshifted Boston defense.Lately, he’s even tried to bunt to beat the stacked right side. “It looks like there’s 12 guys out there,” he said.A day after bad baserunning dearly cost the Yankees, they tried a double steal in the first. Instead, Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner ran right into a double play.Jeter was on second and Gardner was on first when they took off. Catcher Christian Vazquez targeted the trailing runner, trapping Gardner in a rundown.Second baseman Jemile Weeks suddenly zipped a throw across the diamond that caught Jeter straying off third, and third baseman Brock Holt’s toss nailed Gardner at second.The Red Sox weren’t so swift around the bags, either. Daniel Nava got picked off first by Kuroda, seeming incredibly nonchalant returning to the base. Moments earlier, Kuroda had looked back Nava without making a throw.(BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more