No. 18 Utah women’s basketball team beats No. 7 USC

Utes bounce back from loss to UCLA and go 1-1 on trip to Los Angeles

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah's Alissa Pili, shown during a game against Oregon on Feb. 11, tallied 23 points and nine rebounds as the Utes beat USC on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Playing against her former team, Utah’s Alissa Pili had 23 points and nine rebounds as the No. 18 Utes beat No. 7 USC 74-68 on Sunday in Los Angeles.

“There’s a little bit of extra satisfaction with the win today,” said Pili, a senior forward who was with the Trojans for three seasons before transferring to Utah. “Especially with the whole crowd booing me when I was at the line, I got a little satisfaction making those.”

The Utes beat their highest-ranked opponent in a road game in school history. The previous mark was a win over No. 15 Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., on Dec. 8, 2020.

Utah bounced back from an 82-52 loss at No. 12 UCLA on Thursday.

“It’s late February,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “We know who we are. We know what makes us good and we know what makes us bad and we were really really bad on Thursday. As players they were frustrated. In this league anyone can beat anybody and we knew we needed to shine in this game. It was a regroup and take out our frustration on the USC.”

Utah’s Kennady McQueen scored 14 points, Dasia Young came off the bench to score 13, and Matyson Wilke added 11.

Utah (20-8, 10-6 Pac-12) had a 14-6 edge after the first quarter. The Utes made 10 free throws in the final five minutes to seal the win.

JuJu Watkins scored a game-high 30 points for USC (21-5, 11-5 Pac-12). Kaityln Davis scored 13 points for the Trojans, and McKenzie Forbes had 10.

“USC is tough,” Roberts said. “Watkins is scary. We knew we weren’t going to shut her down but we’ve had to make her work for everything.”

Utah ended the game shooting 48.9 percent from the field while USC shot 40.3. Utah knocked down 11 shots from beyond the arc for 40.7 percent while the Trojans hit four from deep for 20.0 percent.

Utah will wrap up its regular-season schedule with home games against Washington State on Thursday, and Washington on Saturday.