After rising to a No. 3 rank, the women’s water polo team will look to add its third-straight title victory at the Barbara Kalbus Invitation this weekend. The Trojans have won the last two years’ tournaments, which have been hosted by UC Irvine. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanOver three days, the team will have the chance to face four opponents, including top competitors such as No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Cal and No. 4 UCLA. The tournament is a chance for the top teams in the MPSF and the nation to face off. From year to year, it is a consistently competitive weekend, but this year, the tournament will feature 16 top-20 teams, providing a truly elite lineup of competition.The weekend for the Trojans will start out with a matchup against San Jose State on Friday. The No. 18 team will provide a solid challenge to begin the weekend, but the team’s eyes will be set on the second game of the tourney. A win over San Jose State would result in a game against the winner of the opening game between No. 6 Arizona State and No. 15 UC San Diego on Saturday. An opportunity to face the Sun Devils this early in the tournament would be a welcome trial for the Trojans, who often duel with them in the MPSF tournament.A pair of opening victories would give the Trojans a berth into the semifinal game on Saturday night. The ultimate goal of the tournament is to reach the championship game on Sunday, which could set the team against any of its in-state foes. The Trojans already took down the Bruins in a 6-4 victory in the title game of the Triton Invitational two weeks ago. The win gave the Trojans their fifth-straight championship in the tournament, highlighted by two goals from standout freshman driver Paige Hauschild, who scored the final goal to clinch the 2-point advantage. Hauschild went on to win MPSF Newcomer of the Week following her performance in the tournament. The award was her second in only six weeks of NCAA play.Although the Trojans took home the title thanks to a ferocious offensive effort — with senior captain driver Brianna Daboub notching her 100th career goal in the semifinal victory over UC Irvine — it was the defense that held down the championship for USC. Goalkeepers senior Victoria Chamorro and junior Amanda Longan split time in the net, with Chamorro earning 27 saves on the weekend and Longan picking up 23 in the semifinal and championship match.A similar defensive effort will be necessary for the Trojans this weekend, as they will most likely face off against two of the top four teams in the nation. The team has yet to face Cal and Stanford so far this season, but all three teams are well-acquainted as they will play each other a handful of times in regular season games and tournaments, as well as in the MPSF and NCAA tournaments. The matchups are not set in stone yet, but the Trojans can expect a challenge no matter which of their in-state rivals they face at the finish line.
It was the type of performance one might have imagined when the 76ers drafted him No. 1 overall in 2017.And it was the type of performance that almost no one would have imagined during the two seasons he spent in Philadelphia, when a perplexing nerve condition in his neck and shoulder destroyed his jump shot and put his future in doubt.“It was huge, a big milestone,” Fultz told reporters Wednesday night after the win over the Lakers. “I think it just shows that I’m a No. 1 pick. I let my game do the talking.”That is, indeed, the case, Orlando coach Steve Clifford said of Fultz, who is just 21.“He works; he’s a throwback guy,” Clifford said. “The younger players in our league have become more and more challenging, because they’re younger and they have less experiences and, say, even 10 years ago, most of the younger guys you got in the league had performed well in college. LOS ANGELES — Add Doc Rivers to the quite-crowded Happy For Markelle Fultz Club.“I’m just very happy for him,” the Clippers coach said before his squad took on Fultz’s Orlando Magic on Thursday night at Staples Center. “I don’t want to be too happy for him tonight – but it was fun watching him (Wednesday) night.”On Wednesday, Fultz was the hero for the short-handed Magic. He finished with his second career triple-double (21 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds) and came through with the clutch plays down the stretch in an unlikely victory over the Lakers at Staples Center, where Orlando snapped their nine-game winning streak and handed LeBron and Co. their first loss to a team with a sub-.500 record this season.The Lakers didn’t make it easy, rallying from a 21-point deficit to take a four-point lead in the fourth quarter – when Fultz scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting and recorded four assists. “Now you get a lot of guys who, frankly, haven’t even played well, you know, except in AAU, and yet they want to be treated as if they had. He’s the opposite of that. He understands that the NBA is about performing, that you’re gonna get what you earn.”Clippers guard Rodney McGruder was watching when Fultz went to work Wednesday, just as he – and the rest of the NBA – has been watching as the former Washington star muddled through his first two professional seasons.“He looked good last night, and that’s just a testament to his work ethic, and his confidence in himself and whoever’s around him, they’re keeping him afloat through the tough times he has in Philly,” McGruder said. “You root for everyone who’s trying to overcome anything, I’m happy to see him have success.”Just not too much success Thursday.PAUL GEORGE WILL TRAVELAlthough forward Paul George missed his fourth consecutive game on Thursday with a hamstring strain he suffered in practice on Jan. 8, Rivers said the Clippers’ star was expected to join the team on their six-game trip. The excursion begins Saturday in New Orleans and concludes Jan. 28 at Staples Center, when they’ll be the “visitors” against the Lakers.“He’s goin’ on the trip,” said Rivers, who didn’t have much more to report other than George did some shooting at Thursday morning’s shootaround session.The Clippers are 9-6 without George in the lineup. George – who is averaging 23.5 points, 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists – also missed the first 11 games while he finished rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgeries. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
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