JuJu Watkins has looked like a special talent since her first game at No. 15 USC, but she took it to another level on Friday.
The true freshman and former top prospect in the country laid waste to No. 4 Stanford to a historic degree, scoring a program-record 51 points in a 67-58 upset win. We’ll repeat for emphasis: she scored 51 points in a game where her team scored 67 points.
And she did it with shots like this:
The USC locker room took some time to celebrate after the game:
The only other players to score at all for USC were McKenzie Forbes (12 points), Rayah Marshall (two points) and Clarice Akunwafo (two points). Watkins also shot 14-of-26 from the field with 11 rebounds, four steals and two assists.
The rest of the Trojans combined to shoot 7-of-38.
The outburst increases Watkins’ season scoring average to 27.2 points per game, which is second nationally to only Caitlin Clark (32.1 ppg). She hasn’t scored fewer than 15 points in a game this season, and has exceeded 25 points in 12 of 18 games. That included another stunner of then-undefeated UCLA.
We once said any day in which a USC player breaks a Lisa Leslie record has to be a good day. To extend that concept, then any day a USC player breaks a Cheryl Miller has to be a very good day.
Watkins did that in three quarters, matching Miller’s freshman single-game scoring record of 40 points in only 30 minutes of play, per ESPN Stats & Info. She then proceeded to score 11 points in the fourth quarter to break the program record held by Cherie Nelson since 1989.
It was also the most points any female college basketball player has scored this season, surpassing Colorado star Chelia Watson’s 47 points.