Women's Basketball Falls To Texas, 66-64, In Final Seconds

Sept. 25, 2001

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- In a game that came down to the final seconds, the USC women's basketball team fell to Texas, 66-64, in the championship of the Paradise Jam on the island of St. Thomas. The Women of Troy drop to 2-3, while the Longhorns improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1997.

Despite a tough USC defense which forced four Texas turnovers in the first few minutes, the Trojans found themselves behind 27-17 at the 6:55 mark. USC went without a field goal for the next five minutes but hit a series of free throws to stay in the game. With seven straight shots at the line and field goals by Aisha Hollans and Rachel Woodward, the Women of Troy entered the break down by four, 35-31.

Texas increased its lead to 13 (56-43) in the second half thanks to a 17-6 run. USC then answered with a 13-2 run of its own and with 3:38 left on the clock, the Women of Troy forced two Longhorn turnovers and Jessica Cheeks scored on a steal to tie the score at 58-58. USC took its first lead, 59-58, on a Ebony Hoffman free throw (3:06) and the two teams began to alternate with the lead.

The game came down to the final seconds as Texas' Kenya Larkin hit 1-of-2 at the line to keep the Trojans within two. USC inbounded the ball with :08 remaining but was unable to hit a shot in two attempts.

Hoffman and Hollans were both named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team after contributing 18 and 14 points apiece in tonight's game. Cheeks also added double figures with 11 points and led with four steals (ties a career high). Center Portia Mitchell led on the boards with a career high seven rebounds.

Texas had three players post double figures - Stacy Stephens (16 points), Heather Schreiber (13) and Kala Bowers (10). Stephens was named tournament MVP and Schreiber was named to the all-tournament team.

USC returns home to host BYU on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Sports Arena.

- GO SC -

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