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Take Me Out To The Dodgers Blue Diamond Gala

LOS ANGELES– Before the Dodgers open a six-game homestand the players were out of their uniforms and donning their best party wear for the team’s 8th annual Blue Diamond Gala on Thursday, May 2nd. 

‘The Party for LA’ lived up to the hype. Combining the opulence of the Academy Awards, the rare opportunity to bump into a loyal Dodger fan from all walks of life. 

Shohei Ohtani, the Baseball sensation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his wife Mamiko Tanaka turned heads at the Dodgers’ 2024 Blue Diamond Gala with their all-black ensembles. The power couple made a striking appearance at the event, showcasing their style and elegance.

The event raises funds for the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, a nonprofit which works on local causes including education, homelessness and health care.

In fact, team ownership announced a new pledge of $50 million to support the foundation. They pledged another $50 million if the team reaches the World Series this season.

“We think about the work that we’re doing, tackling L.A.’s most pressing problems – focusing on homelessness, education, health care and social justice,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the foundation. “This is a night where we get to put on display the cumulative impact we have.”

Singer Ed Sheeran headlined the Thursday night event at Dodger Stadium. Players including Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were in attendance.

“They’re all dressed up, they all look sharp,” said team manager Dave Roberts. “For our fans to see us outside of our uniforms and looking like normal people, and know we’re still raising money to do good for people in Los Angeles and beyond is a lot of fun.”

Walking the Blue Carpet was Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos. “I’m here tonight because of friends, and we’ve seen so many kids helped,” said Spanos.

Deemed the “Party for L.A.,” the Blue Diamond Gala is presented by the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group. 

Proceeds from the event benefit the LADF and their programs and initiatives aimed at improving education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos.

LADF is tackling the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos. Bigger than baseball, LADF envisions a city where everyone regardless of ZIP code has the opportunity to thrive.

The foundation was reimagined in 2013 and has since raised over $95 million and is on track to raise $100 million in 2024. LADF has invested more than $60 million in its programs and grants to local organizations and impacted more than 10 million youth.

LADF is the proud recipient of ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, Robert Wood Johnson Sports Award, Beyond Sport’s Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award, and the Aspen Institute Project Play Champion.

Following the star-studded blue carpet was a pre-show dinner party and two hours of entertainment, including post-show party food trucks. In addition to the live performances.

Dodgers owner and CEO Mark Walter announced the Guggenheim Ownership Group pledged a donation of $50 million to LADF. In addition, Dodger ownership will donate another $50 million if the Dodgers reach the World Series in 2024.

“Just as the Los Angeles Dodgers compete at the highest level on the field, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is peerless in the breadth and depth of its service for the community off the field,” Walter said.

“This donation underscores the importance of every goal the LADF pursues and achieves, and our hope is that together, our baseball team and the Foundation reach the greatest heights in 2024.”

It was at the intersection of Sports and Entertainment, and it was a Grand Slam!

Clippers Even Series With Mavericks In Wild Finish

DALLAS,TX–  The Los Angeles Clippers displayed amazing grit and resilience on Sundays 116-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on April 28- knotting the dramatic first round Playoffs at two games apiece. Kawhi Leonard was ruled out with a sore knee-not to mention blowing a 31 point lead in the fourth quarter. Somehow the Clippers managed to prevail with their season on the line. 

Early on, Paul George and the rest of the Clippers were on fire from beyond the arc, like the basketball was in flames like NBA Live 93. Stunning the deliriously loud United States Arena, the Clippers led 39-16 after the quarter. 

From there, the Clippers expanded their lead to a whopping 31 points, but no lead is safe in the NBA. Paul George scored 33 points, erupting for 26 in the first half alone. We will get to James Hardens brilliance in a moment. 

Spoiler: he won the game with his clutch shots. 

The Dallas Mavericks nearly pulled off a historic NBA playoff comeback in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, rallying from a 31-point first-half deficit.

After slowly erasing the massive deficit, thanks in large part to the jaw dropping ability of Kyrie Irving. Irving practically carried the Mavericks in their comeback effort, providing the only consistent scoring threat while nearly all of his teammates struggled. The 13-year veteran scored 40 points while hitting shots from all over the court (including 6-for-12 on 3’s). That tied the third-highest postseason scoring total of his career.

The Clippers led 39–16 after the first quarter and 66–49 at halftime. At one point, the Mavericks nearly erased the deficit in the third quarter, outscoring L.A. 29–16.

A major factor in the Mavericks’ comeback was shutting down George and Harden after explosive performances in the first half. After combining for 44 points in the opening frame, George was limited to two points on 1-for-3 shooting while Harden went scoreless.

James Harden also tallied 33 points for Los Angeles, but was crucial at the end with 15 points in the fourth quarter on 6-for-8 shooting. Overall, he shot 12-for-17 from the field and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. The Beard made a series of floaters which is why we got him. 

Kudos to Terrence Mann, who played aggressive old school Playoff ball on Luka Doncic. Obviously Luka whined, but Mann kept Doncic in check. It was a team victory, and Head Coach Ty Lue kept his team resilient. 

Dallas took a 105–104 lead with 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter on a layup by Kyrie Irving, who also hit a long 3-pointer on the previous possession. However, a step back 3-pointer from the corner by Paul George gave the Clippers a 107–105 lead that ultimately held up for a 116–111 victory. The series is now tied 2–2 going into Wednesday’s Game 5.

Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday in what is now a best-of-three series returning to Los Angeles. Tip-off is set for 7;00 pm with the broadcast on TNT.

Hannah Green triumphs at JM Eagle for back to back wins at Wilshire Country Club

Photo by Eric Brown Jr. / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA – Hannah Green won LPGA Tour’s JM Eagle LA Championship for the second
straight year Sunday, holing out twice from off the greens in a pivotal back-nine stretch at a
difficult but familiar Wilshire Country Club.


With a statement on social media Nelly Korda, the world number one and currently on a 5 win
streak, unexpectedly withdrew from this week’s JM Eagle LA Championship, leaving the door
wide open for the rest of the field to capitalize.

Photo by Eric Brown Jr / fi360 News

After shooting an opening round of 67, Green was feeling good heading into the weekend on a
course that she’s historically performed really well on. In her last 16 rounds at Wilshire she’s
shot 15 in the 60’s and just one year ago she hoisted the trophy at the end of the weekend.

“It’s really kind to me,” Green said when asked about her wonderful relationship with Wilshire. “I
felt like a couple times today almost got like a member bounce. I obviously really am fond of the
golf club and joked that they didn’t approve it with me that they were making alterations.” She
added later, “It does feel somewhat like home in a sense that I have so many people that come
and watch me. There are a lot of Aussies that come, as well and cheer me on.”
Green took home $562,500 from a purse of $3.75 million. That brings her season earnings to
$861,302 and her career earnings to $5,375,243.

Photo by Eric Brown Jr / fi360 News

Twenty-four-year-old Maja Stark earned her second-consecutive runner-up finish on the LPGA
Tour thanks to her 3-under 68 on Sunday. Stark also finished solo second at the year’s first
major championship, The Chevron Championship. Like Green, Stark had a slow start to the day
but made a late run that included four birdies in her last six holes. She finished -9 overall.
Maja Stark (2, -9) on her mindset during the closing stretch at Wilshire Country Club:

“I just kind of thought, screw it. Now is not the time to hold back anymore. I think that just made
me swing a little bit more freely. I don’t think I had to think as much on the putts. I’ve been kind
of — some technique stuff has been occupying my mind, especially with the putting, so I was just
focusing on the hole and it obviously works well. Going to try to keep doing that.”

Photo by Eric Brown Jr / fi360 News

With this being Hannah Green’s second win on tour this season she’s turning her attention and
focus to being selected to Australia’s team for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympic Games in
Paris.

Bush Heisman is back

NEW YORK (April 24, 2024) – The Heisman Trophy Trust today announced the historic reinstatement of the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy to Reggie Bush.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” said Michael Comerford, President of The Heisman Trophy Trust. “We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the Trophy for Reggie. We are so happy to welcome him back.”

A 2023 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Bush had a legendary career at the University of Southern California and an electrifying 2005 season, amassing more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 18 touchdowns. He received 784 first-place votes during the 2005 Heisman Trophy campaign, the fifth-most in Heisman Trophy history, while leading USC to a national title berth. 

“Personally, I’m thrilled to reunite with my fellow Heisman winners and be a part of the storied legacy of the Heisman Trophy, and I’m honored to return to the Heisman family,” said Bush. “I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.” 

As part of the announcement, the Heisman Trust has returned the Trophy to Bush and the replica to USC. Bush will be invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies, starting with the 90th Heisman Trophy ceremony this fall.

The Trust’s decision to reinstate the Trophy follows a deliberative process in which it closely monitored the enormous changes in the college football landscape, including the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision, which questioned the legality of the NCAA’s amateurism model and opened the door to student athlete compensation; the ability of college football players to be paid for their name, image, and likeness (NIL); and the NCAA’s recent proposal to remove the cap on education-related payments. Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the Trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005.

The Trust is represented by Ted Wells and Joshua Hill of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Comerford said, “We thank attorneys Ted Wells and Josh Hill for their excellent work and counsel for the past two years in helping us come to this decision.” Bush is represented by Levi McCathern and Ty Sheaks of the McCathern firm and Ben Crump, who worked collaboratively with the Trust’s counsel.

Clippers Drop Game 2 with Kawhi Leonard Returning 

LOS ANGELES, CA-– In a bewildering lackluster game of sorts, the Dallas Mavericks evened the series with the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena on Monday night. From the tipoff,  the Clippers were  lifeless, lacking any drive or heart in order  to attempt seize control of the series up 2-0. 

Rather, Mavericks Superstar Luka Doncic   torched the Clippers, evening the first round series at 1-1. Now its the Mavs who have home court advantage. 

 Doncic scored 32 points, Irving added 23 and the Mavs won 96-93 on Tuesday night to tie their Western Conference first-round playoff series at a game apiece.

“Obviously it was a must-win and everybody was locked in,” said P.J. Washington Jr., who had a big fourth quarter and finished with 18 points. “They punched us in the mouth in Game 1 and we just wanted to respond.”

Game 3 is Friday in Dallas. 

Leonard had 15 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes of his first game since March 31. He hadn’t played or had any contact practices during that stretch because of inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee.

“I felt good,” Leonard said. “We still got more games to play and more time to get better. Just keep trying to get a rhythm back.”

Leonard’s optimism is courageous, but many fans noticed he was not healthy last night. It takes time to return, but he’s rusty, and unable at the moment to drive past his defenders.

The Mavs led most of the game two days after they trailed by 29 points and eventually lost 109-97.

“We played 48 minutes of physical basketball,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “Both teams were under 100. It was ‘90s basketball at its best.”

Paul George and James Harden led the Clippers with 22 points each. Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 12 rebounds. The team shot 37% from the floor and made just 8 of 30 3-pointers.

Plagued by poor shooting and behind for much of the game, the Clippers began rallying in the third. Trailing by seven, they outscored the Mavs 19-10 down the stretch to take a 66-65 lead into the fourth. Doncic tied the game at 65-all before getting called for a technical. Harden’s free throw provided the narrow lead.

The Clippers trailed 93-90 on Leonard’s basket with 20 seconds left. Irving was called for a foul, which the Mavs challenged and got it overturned. Irving made 3 of 4 free throws before George sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

This wild, Unpredictable series seems destined to go seven games. 

Nuggets Buzzer Beater Destroys The Lakers

DENVER, CO– Jamal Murray buried a game winning shot over the outstretched arms of Anthony Davis at the buzzer, Nuggets 101 Lakers 99 on Monday, April 22nd. It was pandemonium, the raucous crowd celebrating the improbable win, trailing by 20 in the second half giving the Nuggets a  2-0 series lead. 

“For those that have been following us for a long time, that’s Jamal Murray right there,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.

For Laker Nation, it was sickening to the core. Worst loss since the 2008 NBA Finals, when the Boston Celtics aniahalated the Lakers capturing the NBA Title. Everything went right for the Lakers, and they still felt short. Hopeless is an understatement. 

The Lakers dominated early and took a twenty point lead early in the third quarter, but went cold late in the third quarter and the Nuggets fought back in the game and took their first lead in the second half as time expired as Jamal Murray’s mid-range jumper hit the net.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis had terrific games for the Lakers, and they got plenty of help from D’Angelo Russell who scored 23 and made 7 three-point shots. The extended stretch from the middle of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth was a key time for the Nuggets as their bench outplayed the Lakers and kept them from scoring a baskets for most of the quarter. 

The Lakers almost held on but Jokic fueled the comeback as they chipped into the lead, and Jamal Murray, who had been held in check for most of the game came alive late as he victimized the tired LA defense to take over the game and hit the final shot as time ran out.

It was a great night for  TNT as well as playoff basketball as the Lakers almost pulled off the upset, after the game between the Sixers and the Knicks was decided in the last minute. 

The pick and roll with LeBron and Anthony Davis was very effective as the Nuggets often ended up with Murray on AD in the paint for an easy layup. As the Nuggets tried to adjust to that, it just opened up shots for the other Lakers.

The Lakers went cold in the latter part of the third quarter, and the Nuggets showed signs of life, but they missed quite a few shots as LA still held onto a 10 point lead going into the fourth.

As the fourth quarter started, all of the pretty basketball played earlier got thrown out the window. This wasn’t a game about strategy any more, it was a battle of wills and who could still perform in the thin air after a whole game of going back and forth.

 The Lakers offense went stagnant, and LeBron just decided to take control and hit clutch shots. Jamal Murray, who had been held in check all game, took his shots in the final quarter as the Nuggets chipped into the lead. Jokic took over for the Nuggets as he cut the lead to a single point with 2 minutes left.

The Nuggets comeback was completed with a Michael Porter Jr. triple with just over a minute left, but D’Angelo Russell put LA back in the lead right after that with a layup. It was a back and forth battle in the last minute, but LA missed their last shot.

“They protected their home court,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said. “We’ve got to go do the same.”

Jamal Murray’s buzzer beater iced the game for the Nuggets 101-99, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Jokic’s 27 point, 10 assist performance that made the game close enough for the heroics to matter.

History repeats itself once more, Jamal Murray spurred a Game 2 comeback in the 2023 Western Conference Finals. Giving the Nuggets a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 is Thursday night, at Crypto.com Arena. 

Coachella Weekend 2

INDIO, CA- Weekend two of Coachella returned to its glory after Weekend one was tarnished by awful sound and technical issues hampering  several artists sets. The bugs were fixed for Weekend two, and it was a magnificent experience. 

Friday saw a standout second round from Lana Del Rey, movie moments from Sabrina Carpenter and an expansive crowd for Chappell Roan. As temperatures got higher and higher, Saturday had the tough task of trying to ensure the vibes did the same. 

The best breakout star was The Japanese House (Amber Bain) performing at the Mojave Tent from 4:30-5:10pm on Friday. The new album In The End It Always Does is incredible live, and Amber has so many exciting things going on this year like touring with Maggie Rogers next month as well as her own headline shows and she started the year with an NPR Tiny Desk performance. 

Amber Mary Bain, known professionally as the Japanese House, is an English indie pop musician from Buckinghamshire. Bain contributes vocals and plays guitar, synthesizer and keyboard for her music. Bain decided to pursue a career in music as a teenager. 

(PHOTOS: Michael C. Floch)

The audience issues feel improved, too, as the crowds on the livestream look more engaged. This is likely thanks to the clearing out of the celebrities and the influencers who flock to weekend one but don’t tend to make the second trip down. Letting the place be busier and more concentrated with actual music fans, the artists seem relieved.

The issue of influencer fatigue seemed truly pointless, yet it dominated the headlines following Weekend 1. Who cares? People have always and will always get dressed up, maybe film aspects of their concert experience with friends or family. 

No one at Coachella brought it up, so it felt like a non issue. On to day 2. 

For day two of weekend two, the same stellar lineup returned for a second go around. No Doubt, Tyler The Creator, Jungle and Ice Spice were the big acts of the day. However, the day has been coloured by redemption. After flopping or failing last weekend, Blur and Grimes were on a mission to make up for weak weekend one set.

Watching No Doubt’s performance, its shocking the iconic band hadnt played a gig in nine years. Towards the end of their career-spanning setlist, as Gwen Stefani proved she still has pop-punk power, they played their mega-hit ‘I’m Just A Girl’.

 Naturally, the crowd went wild for the track. At one point, Stefani interrupted the track for a bit of crowd participation from the huge late-night audience. She directed the men in the crowd to sing, “I’m just a girl”. Then, when it came to hearing the girls sing it, she decided she wanted a better view.

As Stefani scaled the scaffolding on the side of the stage, the risk assessment of the event was on rocky territory. But luckily, there were no slips or falls. Instead, the crowd screamed their part and the set roared on as a success.

Headliner Tyler, the Creator brought out fellow Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt for a few tracks, including “Bastard” and “Wolf.” And on the other side of the fest, Dom Dolla wrapped up the night with Tove Lo, who performed an unreleased track the Aussie DJ teased on all four of his Coachella performances.

For the final day of Coachella ’24, Reneé Rapp was accompanied by Coco Jones on the Outdoor stage for their rendition of “Tummy Hurts.” Kid Cudi, a surprise addition on Weekend 2, greeted an overflow crowd at the Sahara tent, making it perhaps the most-attended set on that stage. Too bad it was cut short when he jumped off that stage while performing “Memories”—and broke his foot. J Balvin once again delivered a high-energy show, joined this time by Maria Becerra, Jowell & Randy and De La Ghetto.

 One of the best surprise guests on Weekend 2 was 50 Cent, who made an appearance during DJ Snake’s set, doing “Many Men,” “In da Club” and “P.I.M.P.” And concluding the weekend was Doja Cat, who brought out Teezo Touchdown to once again duet with her on “MASC.”

That’s if for Coachella until next year, but next weekend is Stagecoach!

Lakers Clinch Playoff Spot, Will Meet Denver

LeBron James of Lakers (Photo by Jevone Moore)

NEW ORLEANS, LA– For the third consecutive year in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers punched their ticket to the Playoffs via the NBA Play-In Tournament. These matchups have featured some of the most exciting moments in recent Lakers history, last night was no exception. As the Purple and Gold survived Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, 110-106.

Now we have a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the NO. 7 Lakers will meet the reigning NBA champs, the Denver Nuggets. It’s been lopsided in favor of the Nuggets, who have beat LA 8 times in a row. 

First Laker who comes to mind is one D’Angelo Russell. His three point shooting prowess helped the Lakers take an early lead. 

 The Lakers got a crucial 3-pointer down the stretch from D’Angelo Russell, who had 21 points. LeBron James almost recorded a triple double with 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony Davis had a strong fourth quarter to finish with 18 points and 15 rebounds.

In the loss, Zion Williamson was nothing short of brilliant, scoring 40 points before suffering a hamstring injury. With three minutes left, the contest hanging in the balance knotted at 95-95, Zion angrily stormed off into the locker room for the night. 

The NBA Play-In Tournament was initially met with skepticism, and accusations of greed. However, the excitement and intensity of these games are what every NBA fan wants and craves. 

The Lakers and Pelicans detest one another; remember this was where Anthony Davis was drafted, spending his first six seasons In the NBA in the Big Easy. The Pelicans were savoring the opportunity to send AD to the couch to watch the NBA Playoffs. 

Trailing by 18 points in the second half, the Lakers almost blew another lead, thankfully they advanced. 

Also, Zion versus LeBron was a show in itself. It was his Zion’s first brush with the postseason, and he was dominant. His signature game, it was so promising to watch his game flourish. Only to witness another hobbling leg injury, which has plagued his career since being drafted first overall by Duke. 

This is the player that we all thought would one day become the face of the league. The former No. 1 overall pick finally lived up to the billing. 

It was tragic and heartbreaking, but we live and bleed Purple and Gold in the City of Angels, so bring on the Denver Nuggets. 

They’ve (Nuggets) been extremely dominant on their home floor over the last few years,” said Lebron James, “it’s going to come down to one or two possessions. And we’ll see who executes then.”

The Lakers have gone 21-8 between Feb. 1 and this stretch. Game 1. We get another postseason series featuring stellar bigs in two-time Kia MVP Nikola Jokic going head-to-head against Anthony Davis, as well as other stars such as LeBron James and Jamal Murray.

Game 1 is Saturday night, at Ball Arena in Denver. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 pm, and the game will air on ABC.

Dodgers Open Season at Home with a Bang: Ohtani and Glasnow Shine

Photo by Mark Hammond/BNS

LOS ANGELES, CA- Under the bright lights of Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off their home season with a resounding 7-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. After a week that stirred the sports world with Shohei Ohtani’s gambling controversy, the team refocused on the field, demonstrating why they are a force to be reckoned with.

Shohei Ohtani, in his first home plate appearance, electrified the crowd.

“It’s all about making a good first impression, and I felt the energy from the fans,” said Ohtani, who despite a base-running misstep with Mookie Betts, reached base three times.

Dave Roberts, with a hint of amusement, reflected on the moment: “Shohei’s got incredible speed, but even the best can learn. It’s all part of the game.”

The Dodgers’ offensive strength was on full display with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman launching homers. Betts, discussing the team’s synergy, stated, “We’ve got a lineup that can do damage from top to bottom. Today was just a glimpse of that.”

On the mound, Tyler Glasnow dominated over six innings, allowing just two hits. “My job is to give the team a chance to win, and today, my pitches were working just the way I wanted,” Glasnow said, praising the defensive support.

The victory, while expected, reassured fans after the team’s preseason scandals. The game underscored the talent-stacked lineup with a home run and relentless offense. “This win is a statement,” Freeman said postgame. “We’re here to play ball and to win, no distractions.”

The Dodgers, with their blend of experienced MVPs and fresh talent, have set the stage for what promises to be an exhilarating season. They aim to carry this opening day momentum throughout the year, chasing yet another championship under the sunny skies of Los Angeles.

USC women’s hoops are sweet 16 bound

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA- The top-seeded USC Trojans triumphed over the Kansas Jayhawks with a decisive 73-55 victory on Monday night, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

JuJu Watkins led the charge for USC with a remarkable 28 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, showcasing her dominance on the court. McKenzie Forbes supported Watkins’ stellar performance with a career-high six 3-pointers, contributing 20 points to the Trojans’ victory.

USC’s win sets up a highly anticipated matchup against fifth-seeded Baylor in the Portland Region 3 in Oregon on Saturday. This advancement marks a significant achievement for USC, which last reached the Elite Eight in 1994, echoing the legacy of their back-to-back national championships in the early 1980s.

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Kansas freshman S’Mya Nichols led her team with 22 points, while Taiyanna Jackson added 10 points and 18 rebounds. Despite their efforts, Kansas fell to 0-6 all-time when facing a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

A critical moment in the game was USC’s 17-2 run that spanned the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter, effectively sealing their victory. Watkins and Kayla Padilla were instrumental during this run, with Watkins scoring nine points and Padilla hitting a crucial 3-pointer to extend USC’s lead.

Reflecting on the game, JuJu Watkins shared, “It’s the people. I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” highlighting the team spirit that propelled USC to victory.

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

On the other side, S’Mya Nichols remarked on Kansas’s determination, stating, “It’s what we have to do as a team to get back here and advance from here,” showcasing the team’s resolve and forward-looking perspective.

USC’s next challenge is Baylor, a team with a 26-7 record, in what promises to be a compelling Sweet 16 matchup. With the Trojans aiming to continue their impressive run and the Jayhawks reflecting on their journey, both teams are focused on the future, drawing lessons from this pivotal game.

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

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