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Title IX Turns 45

17_Womens_TitleIXGraphic.jpgForty-five years ago today, Congress passed Title IX, creating a boom in women's sports on the NCAA level.

A section of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX ensured that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Since its inception, USC's women's sports have blossomed. Across 12 women's sports, USC was won 30 national championships (20 NCAA) and 73 individual NCAA championships.

USC's first women's team title came four years after Title IX was implemented. Head coach Chuck Erbe led the women's volleyball team to the AIAW Championship in 1976 for the first of six titles for the program. Only women's tennis has more at USC (seven).

USC's 20 women's NCAA titles are the seventh-most in the nation, while their 73 individual titles rank ninth.

In addition to USC's national titles, 18 Women of Troy have earned the Honda Award for the top female athlete in their sport. The first was Cheryl Miller of USC women's basketball in 1984, and the most recent was Samantha Bricio of USC women's volleyball in 2016.

Bricio's dominance helped USC's athletic department earn the 2016-15 Capital One Cup, given to the nation's top women's athletic program based on NCAA finishes.

Between basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, rowing, beach volleyball, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball and water polo, USC's women's sports have come on strong lately, winning at least one national title in four of the past five seasons.

In 2016, two women's teams went all the way: soccer won its second title in program history and beach volleyball won its third in a row.

Follow the Trojans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see which women's team will be next!

Meet Mark Trakh

On April 21, USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann announced the hiring of Mark Trakh as the head coach of USC women's basketball.

Sixty-one-year-old Trakh, who was born in Amman, Jordan, returns to Troy after previously coaching the women's team from 2005-09. During that span, he went 90-64, made two NCAA Tournament appearances and produced four Top 10 recruiting classes.

Most recently, Trakh spent six years at New Mexico State, leading the Aggies to three straight conference titles.

In total, he has 22 years of head coaching experience.

Meet Mark Trakh:

Spring Forward

usc-womens-basketball-asu-mcgillen-012917-8470.jpgRising sophomore Minyon Moore of USC women's basketball recently earned an invitation to the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team Trials in Colorado Springs.

Click here for the full release!

Moore appeared in all 30 games as a freshman, starting four. She ranked second on the team in scoring (11.7 points per game) and led the Women of Troy in assists (4.0 per game) and steals (1.9 per game).

Her breakout performance last year came against Washington State. The Hercules, CA native netted 32 points -- the most by a Trojan since 2014 -- and earned USWBA National Player of the Week for her performance.

She also notched the second-most assists in a single game in USC history, with 15 against Sacramento State in December.

Moore will join 32 other women's basketball players aiming to make the 12-player roster. The Women's U19 World Cup Team will compete in Italy this July.

Follow USC women's basketball on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on Moore and the Women of Troy!

Mark Trakh Returns To USC WBB

trakh-wbb (1).jpgToday, USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann announced the hiring of Mark Trakh as head coach of USC women's basketball.

Click here for the full release!

"We are thrilled to welcome Mark back to USC," said Swann. "It was important for us to hire a coach who really wanted to be at USC, who truly cares about our student-athletes and who believes in the Trojan way of excelling. We found that coach in Mark Trakh. He has the experience and maturity to help our young team grow and develop."

This is Trakh's second stint at USC, having previously coached the Women of Troy from 2005-09. During those five seasons, Trakh's teams went 90-64, advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice and finished in the top half of the Pac-12 each year.

This season, Trakh replaces Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who stepped down last month after four years at the helm of the program.

"I'm excited to once again be a part of the great tradition at USC," said Trakh. "I really want to reignite the tradition of excellence that we have at USC. It all starts with recruiting and coaching up the women and helping them succeed."

Trakh certainly had success in recruiting during his first go-around at Troy, signing four Top 10 classes, including the No. 1 class in 2006.

Trakh resigned from USC for personal reasons in 2009 and took nearly two years off from coaching before joining San Diego State's staff. For the past six years, he has served as head coach at New Mexico State, going 104-80 overall. In each of the last three seasons there, he was named the WAC Coach of of the Year for guiding his team to 20-plus victories, the regular season WAC title and the WAC Tournament title.

Overall, in his 22 years as a head coach at the collegiate level, Trakh boasts a 393-267 record, with eight NCAA Tournament trips, seven regular season championships and five conference Coach of the Year honors.

Follow USC women's basketball on Twitter for updates and use the hashtag #TrakhIsBack to welcome Trakh home.

Cooper-Dyke Resigns

USC women's basketball head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke announced today (March 3) that she has resigned after four seasons guiding the Women of Troy.

"I absolutely love USC and I always want what is best for this university," said Cooper-Dyke.  "What is best right now is that I step aside as the women's basketball coach and let someone else lead this team.

"I appreciate the opportunity I was given to coach at my alma mater, a university that has meant so much to me since my days as a student-athlete.  I wish we had more success, but I am thankful for the effort given by the players, coaches and support staff and am fortunate to have worked alongside them.  I also want to thank our fans for their loyal support.  I will always love USC and will be cheering on the Women of Troy in the future as they accomplish great things."

Click here for the full story.

"We thank Cynthia for her dedication, hard work and service, and we wish her the very best," said USC athletic director Lynn Swann. "She is a great Trojan and will always be a valued member of the Trojan Family. 

"The USC women's basketball program has a tradition built on national championships, great players and outstanding coaches.  We look forward to bringing in a coach who will add to that legacy, one who will move our program forward while doing so in one of the world's greatest cities, at one of the country's finest academic institutions and in the nation's premier women's basketball conference."

Cooper-Dyke posted a 70-57 record in her tenure (2014-17) as USC's head coach.  The Women of Troy were 14-16 overall in the just-completed 2017 season, including a season-ending 71-58 loss to California in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, and they finished in a 4-way tie for ninth place in the Pac-12 with a 5-13 record.


Tourney Time

Tomorrow, USC women's basketball kicks off the 2017 Pac-12 Tournament with a battle against the California Golden Bears.

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The ninth-seeded Trojans take on the eighth-seeded Bears at Seattle's KeyArena with a clash against No. 1 seed Oregon State on the line.

USC enters the tournament with a 14-15 record (5-13 Pac-12), which includes a close loss to Cal earlier this season. The Bears and Trojans battled in a Berkeley matchup that featured 12 lead changes, but Cal came out on top, 63-56. Forward Kristen Simon led all scorers with 24 points in that game, and hopes to have another big game tomorrow. Simon was recently named first team All-Pac-12 this season, as was Cal forward Kristine Anigwe.

Should Simon and the Trojans top the 18-12 (6-12 Pac-12) Golden Bears, they'll square up with the Oregon State Beavers, whom they split games with this season. USC fell to OSU at home in January, but pulled off a 20-point upset over the Beavers in Corvallis just a month later.

Last year, the Trojans were the higher seed in the 8-9 game, and beat Washington State to advance to the quarterfinals against top seed Oregon State, where they fell to end their season. Head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and the Trojans are working to write a different story this year.

Catch USC vs. Cal tomorrow on Pac-12 Network at 11:30 a.m. and follow the Trojans on Twitter to stay up-to-date.


Stars of the Season

After the culmination of the regular season and just before this week's conference tournament, three Trojans earned Pac-12 recognition for their efforts this year.

Click here for the full release!

Headlining the Trojan honorees is junior forward Kristen Simon, who made first team All-Pac-12. Simon led the team in scoring and rebounding and had 10 double-doubles this season, despite missing three games. It's the second year in a row USC has placed a player on the Pac-12 first team, as Temi Fagbenle made the cut in 2016, and it's the first time Simon has earned conference recognition of any kind. Heading into her senior season, Simon will remain a force to be reckoned with.

Senior Courtney Jaco, meanwhile, will go out as a back-to-back Pac-12 Honorable Mention and a first-time All-Defensive Honorable Mention. Jaco, a team captain, climbed up to No. 2 on USC's all-time three-pointers made list this season and has claimed the top spot on USC's three-point efficiency chart. When she graduates with a Master's degree at the end of this year, the Trojans will lose their third-leading scorer and ball hawk, and their leader in minutes played.

Jaco's departure means an increased role for Minyon Moore, one of five players named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. This year, Moore led the Trojans in assists and steals and was second in scoring. She became the first Trojan since 1982 to have 15+ assists in a game, the first since 2014 to score 30+ points in a game and the first Trojan ever named the USBWA National Freshman of the Week. Moore, who came off the bench in all but four of USC's games, was named the Trojans' Player to Watch in the tournament by the Pac-12.

Simon, Jaco and Moore lead the Trojans into battle in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday. Ninth-seeded USC takes on eight seed Cal at 11:30 a.m. on Pac-12 Network.

Follow the team on Twitter to stay up-to-date!

Trojan Wish - Ethan Diaz-Ordaz

On Friday, USC women's basketball partnered up with USC's Trojan Outreach program to host a Trojan Wish kid: Ethan Diaz-Ordaz.

Ethan is a three-year-old with Down syndrome and was also recently diagnosed with pre B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare form of cancer. He suffers from hearing loss but is learning sign language in pre-kindergarten. After taking a year off from school to undergo chemotherapy and other medical treatment, he's enjoying being back in the classroom.

Ethan and his parents, Erika and Jose, were treated to a special experience at the Trojans' game vs. Washington State on Friday night.

They received an exclusive tour of the Galen Center and had a photo-op with the world famous USC Song Girls. Before his family took their seats, Ethan got to stand on the court to high five the players during introductions. He also received an autographed basketball after the game, which USC won, 80-64.

Marvelous Moore

usbwa-minyon.jpgUSC women's basketball newcomer Minyon Moore was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Week and the Pac-12 Player of the Week for her double-digit scoring performances this weekend.

The Bay Area native went off for a career-high 32 points against Washington State on Friday and added 20 vs. Washington on Sunday. In the two games, she shot 14-for-19 from the field and 20-for-25 from the free throw line.

Moore has now led the team in scoring in each of the last three games and is second on the team in scoring this season, with 11.8 PPG. She leads the team in assists (4.2 per game) and steals (2.0 per game) this year and is the Pac-12's leading freshman in all three categories.

Moore is just under 3 points off from her head coach's scoring mark as a freshman at USC. Cynthia Cooper-Dyke averaged 14.6 PPG as a freshman in 1982, which ranks fifth in USC freshman history.

This week marks the first time Moore has earned USBWA National Freshman of the Week and the second time she's earned Pac-12 Player of the Week, after previously winning the award back in December. She's the second Pac-12 player this year to earn national recognition.

Moore has started four games this season and has come off the bench for the remaining 23, averaging 26.7 minutes per game (third most on the team). With the departure of senior guards Courtney Jaco and Alexis Lloyd at the end of this season, she's sure to see an even bigger role in 2018.

Senior Sendoff

From a young age, Courtney Jaco has been ambitious. Now, as the Trojan basketball captain's Senior Day approaches, she's taking the time to reflect on her accomplishments at USC and her big plans for the future.

Jaco started playing basketball at the age of six and worked her way up the ladder, earning a scholarship to USC out of Windward High (Mar Vista).

"My dream was always to go to USC," Jaco said. "My stepfather went here, my stepsister went here, and I've always wanted to stay home and have the chance to let my family see me play. So once the offer came around, it was a no brainer."

cj3.jpgJaco's freshman year at her dream school was filled with highs and lows. She struggled to adapt to coming off the bench and taking a backseat to USC's upperclassmen, but her patience was rewarded when the team won its first-ever Pac-12 Championship that March. In all her time at USC, that moment stands out as the culmination of perseverance and belief, two traits she's realized the importance of over time.

"I've learned that the intangibles are the most important part: teamwork, chemistry, camaraderie and stuff like that," Jaco said. "A lot of people come in thinking, 'I'm going to score this many points or get this many rebounds, and I've learned that you should have more goals that aren't so outcome-based. That will let everything else fall into place -- to just not focus so much on the outcome, but more with your own personal and team growth."

Jaco did come to USC eyeing two key goals, though.

Before stepping foot on campus, she had her heart set on earning a Master's degree. Through hard work and countless hours of summer school, Jaco received her Bachelor's degree in social sciences (psychology emphasis) last year and will walk away with a Master's in communication management this year. Inspired by her volunteer work with "A Place Called Home," an after school program dedicated to helping children complete their schoolwork and find their passions, Jaco aims to found her own nonprofit one day before eventually becoming a middle school or high school coach.

Jaco will also likely leave USC as the program leader in career three-point efficiency and runner-up in career three-pointers made, two marks that she has striven for from start to finish.

"Without the help of my teammates, there's no way that I could get those threes off," Jaco gushed. "So thankfully I had some good teammates, some good passes. And yeah, it's really special for me."

As Jaco and her teammates gear up for the last two home games of the season and the senior's career, she's thankful for the way her time at USC has changed her.

"As a person, I'm definitely more mature, just in the way I'm thinking," Jaco said. "Wanting to grow and wanting to get better and develop myself every day. And I've really just figured out what I'm most passionate about."

Jaco and the Trojans take on Washington State tonight at 6 p.m. She and her fellow seniors -- Jordan Adams, Alexis Lloyd and Ivana Jakubcova -- will be honored ahead of Sunday's game against Washington.


Play 4 Kay

Tomorrow night when USC women's basketball kicks off its final home stand of the season, the team will host Play 4 Kay night to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The Play 4 Kay initiative was created 11 years ago as part of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, honoring the late NC State women's basketball coach.

The Trojans will wear pink during Friday's game and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a special Play 4 Kay long sleeve shirt to help support the cause. Fans can also donate to the cause by clicking here.

On Play 4 Kay night, USC hosts Washington State with hopes to even the season series. At 13-12 on the year, the Trojans could use the momentum heading into next month's Pac-12 Tournament.

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on Friday evening at the Galen Center. Click here to purchase tickets!

Beaver State Split

USC women's basketball earned one emphatic upset and one tough loss on its weekend trip to Oregon to move to 13-12 (4-10 Pac-12) on the season.

The Trojans started the weekend off strong, with a 70-50 win over No. 9 Oregon State on Saturday. USC handed the Beavers their first conference loss behind 17 points by Sadie Edwards and double-digit scoring by Courtney Jaco and Kristen Simon. The 20-point win was USC's first in Corvallis since the 2013 season.

USC couldn't keep the momentum going, though, falling by a nearly identical score on Sunday at Oregon. Just one Trojan (Minyon Moore) scored in double figures as USC suffered a 73-50 loss.

USC returns to the Galen Center for one last home stand this season. Washington State comes to town on Friday before USC hosts Washington on Sunday.

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Comeback Kids

USC women's basketball used a second-half comeback to topple No. 16 Arizona State on Sunday by a score of 65-50.

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The Trojans went into the break down a point, but turned on the jets, shooting 73 pct from the floor in the final 20 minutes to earn the upset.

Sadie Edwards was 7-of-8 from the floor for 17 points, on top of her 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kristen Simon also stuffed the stat sheet with a double-double: 16 points and 11 boards. Two other Trojans -- Courtney Jaco and Minyon Moore -- also finished in double figures.

Click here to watch highlights!

The win was USC's third over a ranked opponent this season and helped the Trojans move to 12-9 on the season, with a 3-7 mark in Pac-12 play.

Click here to watch the Trojans' reaction to beating ASU!

Team photographer John McGillen captured every moment of Sunday's upset at the Galen Center.

Just Out of Jaco's Reach

Last night, USC women's basketball fell to No. 11 UCLA, but Courtney Jaco's career showing was a bright spot for the Trojans.

Click here for the full game recap.

Jaco racked up 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, both new career marks for the senior. In doing so, she moved into No. 2 in USC's all-time 3-pointers made list. She now has 184 in her USC career.

Despite Jaco's impressive output, the Trojans fell, 74-59. Team photographer John McGillen captured all the action at the Galen Center last night.

Trojan Wish - Jayleen Cox

IMG_0493.JPGOn Friday, a young man named Jayleen Cox attended the first sporting event of his life.

Eighteen-year-old Jayleen and his family watched the USC women's basketball game vs. Oregon on Friday night as part of USC's Trojan Wish program.

Jayleen was diagnosed with a mild case of autism at the age of two and by four years old he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Jayleen lost his ability to walk at age 10 and has been in a power wheelchair ever since.

Recently, an organization called Walking Strong gifted the Cox family a wheelchair accessible 2016 Dodge Caravan minivan, allowing them to take their son out to places that weren't possible after he became wheelchair-bound.

This included Friday night's women's basketball game, where Jayleen got a pair of USC sunglasses and a fanny pack, met USC's Song Girls, participated in the high five line and player intros, and watched the game courtside with his family.

Click here to learn more about Walking Strong and here to keep up with the latest Trojan Outreach events.

Back-to-Back Bruin Battles

USC_womens_basketball_ucla-2687.jpgUSC women's basketball aims to stop a five-game skid when it hosts No. 11 UCLA tomorrow night. It's the first of two games in a row against the Bruins, as the Trojans head to Pauley Pavilion on Sunday for another crosstown showdown.

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A little over a year ago, unranked USC toppled No. 15 UCLA at the Galen Center, and tomorrow night, the 10-7 Trojans will fight for a similar upset. This season, UCLA is 13-4 and has three players averaging double figures: Monique Billings (18.0 pts and 10.9 reb), Jordin Canada (17.4 pts) and Kennedy Burke (12.4 pts). Though the Bruins are a respectable 4-2 in Pac-12 play, they've yet to win a conference road game.

Three Trojans also average double figures. Forward Kristen Simon is just shy of a double-double, with 15.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Guard Sadie Edwards averages 11.6 PPG, and freshman guard Minyon Moore (who made her first career start on Sunday) sits at 11.4.

Tomorrow night's matchup kicks off at 8 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans at the Galen Center will receive a gold USC basketball T-shirt.

For those not in attendance, the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

Click here for tickets!

California Queen

Destiny Littleton had a pretty good weekend. Trojan fans might not know the USC women's basketball signee out of Bishop's (La Jolla, CA) yet, but she set California's all-time scoring record on Saturday and was named a McDonald's All-American on Sunday.

The 5-foot-9 guard dropped 30 points to bring her all-time total to 3,838 -- one point more than the previous record-holder, Charde Houston -- and she's still not done with her senior season.

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Littleton, who leads the nation with 51 PPG this season, was a lock for the McDonald's All-American Game. Current Trojans Jordan Adams and Sadie Edwards also earned the distinction during their high school years.

This year's McDonald's All-American game will take place on March 29 in Chicago.


Hoopin' at Home

_DSC0784.jpgUSC women's basketball aims to shake a three-game losing streak when Oregon and Oregon State come to town this weekend.

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On Friday night, the Trojans, who are unranked but received votes in the latest AP Poll, host the 12-5 Ducks, with whom they split matches last year. USC will honor America's military with Joint Forces Appreciation Night and the first 250 fans will receive a commemorative long sleeve shirt.

The Trojans face a tougher test against No. 10 Oregon State on Sunday night. Beavers guard Sydney Wiese averages 16.3 PPG and dropped 26 points in OSU's OT win over Stanford on Jan. 8, which helped OSU earn NCAA Team of the Week honors. USC aims to stop a five-game losing streak against the Beavers on an SC Sunday.

Junior forward Kristen Simon leads the Trojans into battle, averaging nearly a double-double this season (15.7 points, 9.7 rebounds per game). Guards Minyon Moore (12.2) and Sadie Edwards (10.5) are also scoring in double figures this year.

Click here for tickets to USC vs. Oregon on Friday at 8 p.m. and here for tickets to USC vs. Oregon State on Sunday at 3 p.m.!

Trojans Beat Up on the Buffs

Last night, USC women's basketball blew out No. 20 Colorado in its Pac-12 opener to earn its second win of the season over a ranked opponent.

Click here for the full recap!

The Women of Troy got out to an early lead and went ahead by as many as 30 points on their way to a 79-54 upset. With the win, they move to 10-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

Four players scored in double figures for the Trojans: Sadie Edwards (16), Courtney Jaco (14), Minyon Moore (12) and Aliyah Mazyck (11). Kristen Simon was just a point away from a double-double, as she posted 9 points and 11 rebounds.

In the end, USC shot 47.0 percent from the field to Colorado's 30.6.

After the huge upset, USC sets its sights on undefeated Utah. The Women of Troy host the Utes on Sunday at noon at the Galen Center. Tickets are $1 at the door!

Simon Says Success

USC women's basketball compiled a solid non-conference resume with plenty more opportunities to impress as Pac-12 play begins this week. The Women of Troy are 9-2 with a Top 25 win at Texas A&M and a close loss to No. 5 Mississippi State.

The conference is loaded this season as seven teams are currently in the Top 25 with three others receiving votes, including the Women of Troy (No. 29 in the nation). USC will open its Pac-12 schedule at home this week, hosting No. 20 Colorado (Friday at 6 p.m.) and undefeated Utah (Sunday at Noon).

Click here for tickets.

While the Women of Troy were dealt a serious blow when senior Jordan Adams was lost for the season due to a knee injury, junior forward Kristen Simon has shouldered the load. She leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (10.1 rpg) and minutes.

The double-double machine has recorded six this season after eight last year. She has scored 20+ points three times and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds in the win over Long Beach State. Simon's career-high is 21 rebounds in a single game (vs. Washington in 2015-16), ranking fourth in program history.

For a team that will rely heavily on youth, particularly in the back court, Simon's veteran presence will be key to navigating through the choppy Pac-12 waters as the Women of Troy hope to return to the NCAA Tournament.

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