Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is ready to build on USC's first NCAA tournament berth in eight seasons. But first, she replaced most of her coaching staff and must adjust to losing her leading returning scorer, who was dismissed in September.
Briana Brown sank a 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second left to give No. 8 seed St. John's a 71-68 victory over No. 9 seed Southern California in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.
Kiki Alofaituli scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, and Southern California earned its first Pac-12 Conference tournament title by rallying for a 71-62 win over Oregon State on Sunday night.
For the past several seasons, talent, potential and a parade of All-Americans that should have returned Southern California into a premier program underachieved. That all changed Sunday as the Trojans earned their first NCAA berth since 2006.
Cassie Harberts scored 10 straight points for USC in the final three minutes, and the Trojans held on in the closing seconds to upset No. 4 Stanford 72-68 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals on Saturday night.