In the battle for Los Angeles, passions run high

LOS ANGELES — USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb sat on the rostrum for postgame media availability after the Trojans’ hard-fought 61-60 loss to UCLA, she could not assist however present emotion.

The Trojans led a big a part of the sport with out their main scorer Kady Sissoko, who was out with an harm. They constructed a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter. However they had been attacked by 10-0 UCLA to begin the final interval and could not get well from the punch.

On the verge of tears, Gottlieb expresses her frustration with herself at not having the ability to shut the deal.

“I am simply broke for our gamers. They’ve just about performed the whole lot we have requested them to do when it comes to competitors. There are at all times apparent errors, and we’ll see the film,” Gottlieb stated. “When a group makes an effort like that, I need them to have the ability to have fun that.” I am within the locker room and I am upset and devastated that we could not carry them residence, actually, as a result of I could not get them residence to the end line within the fourth quarter.”

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When it got here to UCLA head coach Corey Shut’s flip to take the rostrum, she was overcome with emotion, too. The Bruins did not present a lot toughness after recovering from a double-digit deficit in a recreation the place Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice have not performed properly this season, however they did in entrance of a packed crowd. With legendary alumni.

Ann Myers Drysdale, Noel Quinn, Kari Korver, Nina Westbrook, and Lauren Miller had been simply a few of the former Bruins who turned as much as witness the comeback. However the one title that introduced the close to to tears was not an ex-basketball participant. She was Corey Anderson, the granddaughter of legendary UCLA males’s basketball coach, John Picket.

As her voice trembled, Shut spoke of how she stopped chatting to Anderson after the match and the feelings that adopted.

“I used to be simply listening to her speak about what she noticed and enthusiastic about the sincerity of the individuals who got here earlier than us,” Shut stated. “It at all times will get to me as a result of Coach Picket has given me a lot. Not a day goes by with out realizing how lucky I’m to stroll the grades he first walked down. But additionally all these alumni of all these generations… It actually humiliates you as a result of we put on these letters and to have A better illustration of ourselves.”

And the sport actually represented one thing extra than simply the Pac-12 common season recreation on Sunday afternoon. Touted because the Battle of Los Angeles, each groups and coaches purpose to make this rivalry the primary card within the metropolis when it comes to girls’s basketball. It appeared becoming that the match ought to come to the same conclusion as the primary assembly on 15 December.

In that recreation, the Trojans trailed 59-56 and ultimately had the ball. They tried to run a brilliant display by Alisson Miura, the most effective sharpshooters, however she ended up trapped within the nook and threw a poor cross that sealed the Trojans’ destiny.

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On Sunday, the Trojans once more discovered themselves down by three, 61-58, and with the ball for his or her last possession. They managed to get a shot this time. Future Littleton acquired a hand from Taylor Bigby on the high of the corkscrew and gave the three prospects an excellent look, however did not fall for it.

Whereas the Trojans had three losses on this recreation, this loss felt completely different.

“The sensation you get after that is actually completely different from the others due to the best way we competed and the sensation as if we had it on our palms,” Gottlieb stated. “If shedding hurts like that, you then’re doing a little issues proper. It is laborious to swallow, it is actually laborious to swallow for me however I really feel for it as a result of I assumed we did sufficient to win the sport.”

Gottlieb’s sentiments had been echoed with junior guard Kayla Williams, who tied teammate Wind Marshall with 15 factors.

“It is robust now, and it will be robust. However you possibly can’t give it some thought an excessive amount of as a result of it is January ninth, and we have got a whole lot of video games forward of us and we’ve to organize for it,” Williams stated. “We now have to really feel it now and ensure we do not We really feel it once more, study from it and are available again.”

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On the Bruins facet, that they had a career-high efficiency from place to begin guard Lundin Jones who exploded for 22 factors and was key to getting baskets when the UCLA offense was struggling towards the Trojans protection. It even caught the attention of Anderson who made positive to inform Shut that, “That lady from Inland Empire, she’s so good.”

Whereas Jones notes that her massive efficiency was actually only a results of all of the work she’d performed up so far, she did admit that the energetic atmosphere and well-known spectators within the crowd had been her standouts.

“That atmosphere will get me going, for positive, having such a supportive system round us,” stated Jones, “The followers are so supportive, at all times there, at all times cheering. And it helps, undoubtedly, simply my group’s assist and my assist for one another.”

The one time these two groups meet once more this season will likely be in a possible Pac-12 Championship recreation in March. However regardless, they undoubtedly laid the groundwork for what an UCLA/USC matchup ought to seem like.

“The sport was nice and all kinds of issues,” stated Shut. “However while you simply take into consideration the historical past and what we will be concerned in, it’s extremely humbling.”

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