Women's Basketball Drops Season Opener At Saint Joseph's

Nov. 16, 2001

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Despite a second-half comeback effort after being down by 14 points at the break, USC women's basketball (1-0) fell to St. Joseph's (1-0), 81-72, in the season-opener in front 857 at the Saint Joseph's Field House. The loss marked the Women of Troy's first ever against the Hawks in three meetings.

USC was led by guard Aisha Hollans who posted 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Sophomore Ebony Hoffman posted 16 of her final 17 points all in the second half, fueling the Trojans' comeback with a career-high 3-of-5 from three-point range. Jessica Cheeks (12) and Tiffany Elmore (11) also finished with double digits. Hoffman led with 10 boards and Cheeks led with seven assists.

Elmore's points came all in the first half. At 15:32 in the second half she was forced to leave the game with an injury.

Saint Joseph's was led by guard Susan Moran who accounted 36 points, hitting 14-of-17 from the field.

The Hawks accumulated a 17-point lead (42-25) in the first half due to barrage of points in the paint by Moran as USC went without a field goal for nearly six minutes. Hollans' three pointer with seconds left on the clock put an end to the drought and the Women of Troy entered the break down 42-28.

Four minutes into the second half, USC turned the table on the Hawks. The Women of Troy went on a 22-0 run that would see them take their first and largest lead of the game (57-51). USC kept St. Joseph's from scoring for six minutes of their own and forced six consecutive Hawk turnovers, while hitting an array of three-pointers for a dramatic change in momentum.

But it was too little too late. The Hawks slowly crept back into the lead, 67-66 (4:52), after a few missed USC shots. The game remained close but with just 0:45 left on the clock, and up by four (74-70), SJU's Moran drove the length of the court and hit a layup that seemed to seal to win for the Hawks.

USC continues its road trip as it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday, Nov. 18, to face the second-ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers at 3 p.m. EST.

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