Forget Cinderella stories, this was David versus Goliath with a basketball: In a jaw-dropping performance, freshman sensation JuJu Watkins lit up the scoreboard for a USC-record 51 points, leading the 15th-ranked Trojans to a stunning 67-58 upset over No. 3 Stanford on Friday night.
Watkins Unstoppable: From the opening tip, Watkins was on fire. She dominated the paint, showcasing her athleticism with powerful dunks and acrobatic layups. Beyond the close range, she unleashed a flurry of three-pointers, draining several key shots down the stretch to silence the Stanford crowd. Her effortless scoring, coupled with her infectious energy, sparked a Trojan rally as they clawed back from an early deficit.
Record Shattered: By the final buzzer, Watkins’ 51 points had rewritten the history books. Not only did she surpass the USC single-game scoring record (previously held by Cherie Nelson with 50 in 1989), but she also outscored Stanford all by herself in the third quarter. This unprecedented performance cemented her status as a rising star in women’s basketball and left the college basketball world buzzing.
Team Triumph: While Watkins stole the spotlight, it was a collective effort that secured the upset. The Trojans showed grit and determination, playing together with purpose and refusing to back down from the higher-ranked Cardinal. Key contributions from players like Endyia Edwards and Kaia Woods helped contain Stanford’s offense and create opportunities for Watkins to shine.
Cinderella Upset?: This win wasn’t just a one-off; it’s a sign of things to come for USC. Coach Lisa Boyer has built a talented and cohesive team, and Watkins’ emergence makes them a legitimate contender in the Pac-12 and beyond. The Trojans proved they can compete with the best, and their confidence and momentum will be sky-high heading forward.
Stanford Stumbles: The loss for Stanford is a major setback in their quest for a national championship. While they still boast a strong team, questions may arise about their ability to handle pressure and close out games against top competition. Nevertheless, Coach Tara Van Derveer, a seasoned leader, will likely use this as a motivational tool to refocus her team and come back stronger.
More to Come: The college basketball season is still young, but this game has served as a turning point. JuJu Watkins is a name to remember, and USC is a team to watch. With exciting young talent and experienced coaching, the Trojans have the potential to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Buckle up, college basketball fans, this Cinderella story is just getting started.