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Is Los Angeles the mecca for girls’s hoops?

The latest Battle of LA revealed the thriving basketball scene in Los Angeles, that includes the second conflict between UCLA and USC in lower than a month. Within the first match up at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, led by sophomore guard Londynn Jones with 21 factors and seven rebounds, posed a formidable problem for the then #6 ranked Trojans, securing a 71-64 victory and ending USC’s 10-0 unbeaten document, whereas elevating UCLA to 12-0. New addition Lauren Betts, a switch by way of the portal, showcased her prowess as one of many nation’s prime facilities.

Quick ahead to January 14th and the extremely anticipated rematch at Galen Heart the place UCLA, nonetheless ranked #2, boasted a formidable 14-0 document and the #9 ranked USC stood at 12-1, their solely loss coming from the Bruins. Regardless of a late scratch to the Trojans’ lineup with Riyah Marshall (sickness), USC displayed unwavering dedication. Electrical freshman guard Juju Watkins and the Trojans’ protection, fueled by their earlier loss, held the Bruins to 65 factors and practically out-rebounded them (34-33). Watkins gave her all, ending with 32 factors, 10 rebounds, and three assists, solidifying her front-runner standing for Participant of the 12 months and Freshman of the 12 months. The Bruins struggled all through the sport, dealing with foul troubles and leading to three starters exiting the sport early. USC triumphed, ending UCLA’s unbeaten document with a 73-65 victory and marking the primary time in 4 years that USC defeated UCLA.

JuJu Watkins
(Picture: Shawn Mclurkin)

The rivalry’s depth is fueled by passionate followers, breaking attendance data for each groups. UCLA broke data with 13,659 attendees on December thirtieth, whereas USC surpassed there document with 10,657 in attendance in the course of the latest sport.

Recruiting is deep

Recruiting performs an important function within the competitiveness of this match-up and the sport is in good palms. Each groups have gamers who constantly produce on the courtroom and showcase thrilling and difficult skills in clutch moments.

UCLA had the #1 recruiting lessons in 2022: Kiki Rice (Hoopgurlz No.2), Gabriela Jaquez (Hoopgurlz No. 19), Londynn Jones (Hoopgurlz No.22), Christeen Iwuala (Hoopgurlz No.49 ) all whereas including switch Lauren Betts this season who was the #1 participant within the class of twenty-two. UCLA will usher in one other prime 5 recruiting class in 2024: Kendall Dudley (Hoopgurlz No.14) Avary Cain (Hoopgurlz No.24), Zania Socka-Ngueman (Hoopgurlz No. 27) and Elina Aarnisalo (Hoopgurlz NR).

USC has been working as properly, securing the highest participant within the class of ’23, Juju Watkins (Hoopgurls No. 1), as properly including one other prime guard, Malia Samuels (Hoopgurlz no.49). Since Lindsay Gottlieb’s hiring in 2021, the rebuilding has seen a prime recruit every year.

2024 will usher in arguably USC’s prime class in Coach Gottlieb’s tenure: Kennedy Smith (Hoopgurlz No. 6), Avery Howell (Hoopgurlz no.23), Kayleigh Hackell (Hoopgurlz no.28), Vivian Iwuchukwu (Hoopgurlz no.47), Rain Fosetler (Hoopgurlz no.53), Laura Williams (Hoopgurlz no.89).

The way forward for the Battle of LA

Get your popcorn prepared! The cross city rivals end 1-1 of their 2023-24 common season matchups and each groups being ranked within the prime 10 might be the begin to a present down which will result in extra spectacular video games. Each groups shall be shifting to the Big10 come fall 2024, however be on the look out for these two colleges the remainder of this season as we could even get to see a Pac12 match showdown out of them. Who is aware of! My solely suggestion is when these two groups do match up purchase your tickets early and proceed to tune in!



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