USC post player Temi Fagbenle has picked up honors as the Pac-12 Player of the Week after a particularly powerful performance in two big conference victories in the past week. Fagbenle is the first Trojan to win the award in almost two years, when Cassie Harberts earned the honor on Jan. 20, 2014. In her first season as a Trojan, Fagbenle has helped anchor the USC women to their first national ranking since 2011. After USC’s upset win over No. 15-ranked rival UCLA last night (Jan. 10), the Women of Troy have risen to rank No. 25 in the nation in this week’s AP poll.
Fagbenle, a grad student at USC this season, tacked up back-to-back double-doubles in USC’s two Pac-12 wins last week. Her dominance on the boards and offensive power in the paint were key in notching a 75-67 win over Oregon on Monday (Jan. 4) and a 71-68 victory over rival UCLA on Sunday (Jan. 10). Against the Ducks, Fagbenle delivered 19 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. In the rivalry clash against the Bruins, Fagbenle went bigger. She set the tone for the Trojans in snagging 12 of her final 15 rebounds during the first half of action. Later, in the fourth quarter, Fagbenle provided the offensive spark that the Trojans needed in scoring USC’s first eight points of the quarter to build a strong lead for the Trojan cause. Fagbenle would finish out the win with 20 points to go with her 15 boards.
Fagbenle currently leads USC in scoring with 13.7 points per game to date and is second on the boards with 8.4 rebounds per game. In Pac-12 play, however, Fagbenle is averaging a team-best 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
The Women of Troy are now 14-2 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 action. USC started the season with an undefeated run to 12-0, marking the best program start since 1982-83. Now ranked No. 25 in the nation, USC is enjoying a place in the national rankings for the first time since Nov. 14, 2011, when USC was ranked No. 23.
Next up for Fagbenle and the Trojans is a trip to Washington to continue Pac-12 action. USC will face Washington State at 8 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 15) in Pullman before heading to Seattle to play Washington at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 17).