[Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the women’s basketball team will host UCLA on Jan. 14. UCLA is the host of that game.]The Women of Troy claimed a conference road sweep this weekend in the Grand Canyon State, beating Arizona State 60-48 on Thursday before staving off Arizona’s late comeback bid in a 72-67 victory on Saturday.Senior guard Ashley Corral went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line to lead the Women of Troy against the Sun Devils on Thursday. – Kelvin Kuo | Daily Trojan“Last year we came down to Arizona and Arizona State and went 0-2, and that’s what kind of ruined our season,” junior forward Christina Marinacci said. “We came in with a chip on our shoulder. We wanted to play with more energy than [Arizona and Arizona State], even though we were on the road.”After enduring several disappointing losses in their nonconference schedule, the Women of Troy (8-6, 3-1) have won four of their last five games and are starting to look like the team that was ranked No. 23 in the preseason AP poll.Even though USC still feels the sting of close losses to No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 15 Georgia and unranked Arkansas State, they think the experience and motivation gained from those letdowns will help them in the long run.“I attribute both of these road wins to the tough preseason schedule we had,” Marinacci said. “We were just over losing.”The Wildcats (12-3, 1-2) staged a late comeback bid in the second half, cutting what was once a 16-point lead for USC to a 3-point advantage.But senior guard Ashley Corral sank two clutch free throws with seven seconds left to preserve the victory, getting her ninth and 10th points of the day to fend off the pesky Wildcats.Senior guard Briana Gilbreath was one of five Women of Troy to score in double figures on Saturday, leading USC with 17 points and nine rebounds.The close win by the Women of Troy was preceded by a comeback victory of their own on Thursday night at Arizona State (10-4, 1-2).The Sun Devils led by six points with 15 minutes to go, but led by a 21-point effort by Corral, USC stormed back to claim their largest victory in Tempe since 1999.Corral went 7-of-8 from the free- throw line in the last four minutes to go along with four 3-pointers to clinch the win.It was the first home loss of the season for Arizona State, as well as its first loss to an unranked team.Ever since a shocking road loss to Arkansas State on Dec. 15, the Women of Troy seem to have righted their ship.“We just got it together after that,” Corral said. “That was the downfall last season, we hit a streak [of losses] and never got everything going again. You have to come out of nonconference play with a chip on your shoulder.”Since falling to Arkansas State, the Women of Troy have won four out of their past six games. Their only two losses since then were a one-point nailbiter to defending champion Texas A&M, and an eight-point defeat to No. 4 Stanford at home after leading for most of the game.The four victories, meanwhile, have been won by an average of more than 10 points.“All these conference games coming up are must-wins,” Marinacci said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, if it’s a lower team in the Pac-12 or if it’s Stanford. We just have to take it game by game and not look ahead.”The Women of Troy resume conference play on Saturday in Westwood against host UCLA (7-8, 2-2). Tip-off is at 2 p.m.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse followed up its upset win over then-No. 17 Virginia Tech from last week with an ugly, up-and-down 28-20 victory over Boston College on Saturday. SU and quarterback Eric Dungey struggled, but they also strung together two wins for the first time since September of last year.Here’s how some of the players and units faired.Stock UpEric Dungey’s playEric Dungey completed 32 of his 38 passes for a career-high 434 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage was second best all-time for a Syracuse player in a game, as was his yards of total offense (488). He nearly had another touchdown pass (if not for a backward pass) and his interception came on a play he baited the defensive line to jump but it was not called.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s offense was spread out only through the air and Dungey was the distributor with almost three receivers having at least 100 yards. And he did it all through a rainy first half and while constantly getting chased out of the pocket.Steve IshmaelSteve Ishmael had his best game of the season with eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown — his first score of the season. The eight receptions were a career high and it’s the second time in his career that Ishmael has gone for at least 100 yards. His touchdown catch was an acrobatic grab at the edge of the end zone that he jumped up to catch and barely got a foot in bounds.As more coverage has shifted Amba Etta-Tawo’s way, Ishmael has been able to pick up some of the load. He picked up a then-season-high 81 yards against Virginia Tech.Parris BennettParris Bennett led Syracuse with 11 tackles for his fourth double-digit tackle game in the last five weeks. He walloped BC running back Myles Willis on one play then ended the Eagles drive with an interception. A Boston College touchdown would have given BC a 17-14 lead with less than five minutes left in the third quarter. Instead, Bennett grabbed a pass that was dropped at the goal line. His play set up a Syracuse touchdown.Sterling HofrichterSterling Hofrichter seems to have put his days of shanking punts behind him. He booted four punts for an average of 38.8 yards. He pinned one inside the 20 and two went for more than 50 yards. Hofrichter’s shortest punt was his best one of the day. He picked up a poor snap, ran to his left and got off a 22-yard kick that was tipped. Hofrichter took a big hit on the play, but got the kick down the field and saved what could have been a disastrous play.Stock downEric Dungey’s off-the-field decision makingOn Syracuse’s first drive of the game, Dungey thought he drew Boston College offside, so he threw into dense coverage near the end zone, resulting in an interception — bad decision No. 1. Then as the pick was returned 64 yards by Williams Harris, Dungey slammed the Harris down late out of bounds, shoved another player that stood over him and then shoved Harris again — bad decision No. 2, 3 and 4. Dungey got a personal foul for his late hit out of bounds and started a scrum on the sideline.Cole MurphyCole Murphy had another rough game, despite the win. He line-drived a kickoff out of bounds and missed his only field goal attempt from 40 yards away. Murphy has now missed six of his last eight field goal attempts. The last time he made more than one field goal in a game was Week 3 against South Florida, when he went 2-for-2.Offensive lineSyracuse finished the game with nine false start penalties, most of which fell on the offensive line. Dino Babers and Dungey both said there were reasons for the false starts that will be corrected but didn’t elaborate. Dungey was also sacked five times and constantly scrambling around the pocket. The patchwork group has had Cody Conway back intermittently the last two games, but the interior has crumbled under increased pressure. Comments Published on October 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm Contact Jon: email@example.com | @jmettus