Women's Hoops Faces CS Northridge On Tuesday; Travels To Notre Dame Sunday

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Dec. 3, 2001

This Week
Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m.
vs. Cal State Northridge (Sports Arena)
Listen live on www.usctrojans.com.
Doubleheader with the men's basketball game vs. Rhode Island.

Sunday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. EST
at No. 23 Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)
Listen live on www.und.com.

The Facts
The USC women's basketball team (2-4) has one home game this week before taking to the road again. The Women of Troy welcome Cal State Northridge (0-4) on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The men's basketball team will follow immediately with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against Rhode Island. On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Women of Troy face defending NCAA champion and 23rd-ranked Notre Dame at 1 p.m. EST in South Bend, Ind. USC is coming off a 75-73 overtime loss to BYU last Thursday, Nov. 29.

Previous Game Results
vs. BYU
- Stacy Jensen scored BYU's last six points in overtime to help the Cougars overcome an 11-point second-half deficit on Thursday, Nov. 29, in a 75-73 overtime win over USC. Tiffany Elmore led the Women of Troy with a game-high 17 points while three other Trojans had double-doubles: Aisha Hollans (15 points, 10 rebounds), Ebony Hoffman (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Rachel Woodward (13 points, 10 rebounds). USC held a 53-42 lead with 10:35 remaining in regulation before BYU used a 12-1 run to tie the game at 54-54 on two free throws with 7:07 to play. The Cougars then opened up a five-point lead, 63-58, with 4:43 remaining, but Hoffman hit a pair of free throws with 1:11 remaining to tie the game at 65-65. The Cougars then took a 67-65 lead, but Hoffman scored another bucket with three seconds left to send the game into overtime. BYU was down by a point in overtime, 70-69, before Stacy Jensen began her six-point run with a three-pointer with 2:36 remaining to give the Cougars the lead for good. BYU won despite being outrebounded, 54-31, and shooting 14 less free throws than the Trojans. USC turned the ball over 22 times and missed 15 of their 40 free throws.

Just A Couple Of Points Away
Throw out its 40-point loss to Tennessee (Nov. 18) and USC's other three losses were by an average of just 4.3 points, including a pair of two-point defeats (one in overtime).

New Addition
On Monday, Dec. 3, head coach Chris Gobrecht has made another addition to the 2002 Women of Troy roster. Freshman guard Leslie Donester will be suiting up for USC and wearing No. 12. She is a 5-foot-5 walk-on from Walnut, Calif., who prepped at Walnut High.

Common Connections: USC vs. CS Northridge
Located just 20 minutes apart from each other, USC and CSN are among seven Division I universities (along with Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Long Beach State, UC Riverside) in the greater Los Angeles area. There are eight California players on the Northridge roster, including one each from nearby Crenshaw High (Kisha Sheppard) and Banning High (Sha 'Tasha Allen)... Former USC center Denise Woods (2000-01) was named the Matadors' third assistant coach last July but has since left the position to play overseas.

Common Connections: USC vs. Notre Dame
USC has no players from Indiana and Notre Dame has no players from California. The Fighting Irish women's volleyball coach Debbie (Landreth) Brown was a two-time All-American (1976-77) at USC on two national championship volleyball teams.

Against Ranked Opponents
Before the Florida match-up, the last time USC defeated a ranked opponent was last season when the Trojans beat then-No. 20 Oregon, 55-53, on Jan. 25, 2001. Following are this season's results against Top 25 teams:

Nov. 18 at No. 2 Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. L, 106-66
Nov. 24 vs. No. 12 Florida Paradise Jam - V.I. W, 71-68
Dec. 9 at No 23 Notre Dame South Bend, Ind.

An Exhausting Start For the Women of Troy
Life on the road is not easy, just ask the Trojans. To start the 2002 season, USC played five games in only 10 days - four of the five were on the road and two of five were against ranked opponents (No. 2 Tennessee and No. 12 Florida). Not only that, the Trojans have changed time zones three times, boarded nine different flights and only spent 59 hours at home. The difficult life on the road is not over for the Women of Troy. After a couple games at home (BYU and CSUN), USC takes on another challenge this week when it faces 2001 NCAA champion Notre Dame on Dec. 9 in South Bend, Ind.

Morgan State Win Reduced To A Statistic
The 39 points scored by Morgan State were the seventh fewest ever allowed by USC... The 87-39 final score marked the largest margin of victory (49 points) since USC defeated Cal State Northridge, 95-31 (64 points), on Dec. 7, 1993... Morgan State posted the second-fewest field goals (12) an opponent has ever recorded against USC... The Lady Bears 25.3 percent shooting rank the fourth lowest for a USC opponent.

ReeCee Finding Her Shot
Hollans -- who goes by the nickname of 'ReeCee' -- has led the team in scoring in 4-of-6 games this season and has continued to get better with each performance. She began the season with 21 points (8-18) against Saint Joseph's (Nov. 16), then surpassed her career record with 26 points (9-24) against Tennessee (Nov. 18). After an improved 50.0 percent shooting effort at home against Morgan State (Nov. 21) for 19 points, she outdid herself again by posting a new career high of 29 points against Florida (Nov. 24) on 11-of-24 shooting.

** Hollans is second in the Pac-10 in scoring this season with 20.7 points per game.

Hollans And Hoffman Named To All-Tournament Team
Aisha Hollans and Ebony Hoffman earned their first honors of the season by being named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team. Hollans nearly single-handedly guided the Trojans to an upset victory over No. 12 Florida with a 11-of-24 shooting effort, career-high 29 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. She followed the next night with 14 points and three assists against Texas. After a quiet game against the Gators, Hoffman stood out against Texas with a team-high 18 points.

Gobrecht Collects 50th Win At USC
Head coach Chris Gobrecht posted her 50th win at USC when the Trojans defeated No. 12 Florida on Nov. 24. To date, the fifth-year Women of Troy head coach owns a 50-67 overall record at USC.

Players Surpassing Career Highs Night After Night
In only the first three games of the season, USC players have already started outdoing their personal career records:
Against Saint Joseph's:
Jessica Cheeks surpassed a career high by collecting seven assists (previous record - 6)... Ebony Hoffman set a career high with three, 3-pointers (previous record - 1) and tied a personal best with 16 field goal attempts and three, 3-point field goal attempts... Aisha Hollans set new records with 18 field goal attempts (previous record - 17) and 10, 3-point field goal attempts (previous record - 7), while tying her record with three, 3-pointers made.
Against No. 2 Tennessee:
Aisha Hollans broke the record she set for field goal attempts against Saint Joseph's with 24 against the Vols and set new personal records with eight free throws made (previous record - 6) and free throw attempts with nine (previous record - 7) ... Portia Mitchell surpassed her career-best mark with three blocks (previous record - 1).
Against Morgan State:
Aisha Hollans collected a career high five assists (previous record - 3)... Carmen Krause tied a career high with nine rebounds... Portia Mitchell set new career highs with four field goals made (previous record - 1), 10 total points (previous record - 4), 17 minutes played (previous record - 16) and equalled a personal best with seven field goals attempted.
Against No. 12 Florida:
Aisha Hollans once again surpassed her career mark with 29 points (previous record - 26 vs. Tennessee)... Ryane Alexander posted her first career block.
Against Texas:
Jessica Cheeks tied a career-high with four steals ... Portia Mitchell set a new career highs for rebounds with seven, and tied her personal record with three blocked shots (previous record - 4).
Against BYU:
Aisha Hollans set a new career mark with 10 rebounds (previous record - 9) and tied a career record with two blocks... Jessica Cheeks set a new career high for rebounds with eight (previous record - 7).

Roster Addition
On Oct. 22, the Women of Troy added a player to the 2002 roster. Ashley Conrad, a 5-9 redshirt freshman walk-on from Santa Catalina High in Carmel Valley, Calif., will add greater depth to the guard position. Conrad was a four-year letterwinner at Santa Catalina and averaged 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and five assists as a senior. She was a three-time All-Mission Trail Athletic League (CCS) selection (as a sophomore, junior and senior) and was named to the all-county team as a junior and senior. Conrad will wear the No. 5.

Head Coach Chris Gobrecht
Chris Gobrecht enters her fifth season at the helm of the USC women's basketball program. Replacing former head coach Fred Williams on May 8, 1997, Gobrecht returned to her alma mater to help guide the Women of Troy back to national prominence. Throughout 22 years of head coaching experience, Gobrecht has amassed a 382-271 (.585) career record with her programs at Cal State Fullerton (six years), Washington (11), Florida State (one) and USC. During her 11-year tenure at Washington, she was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1987 and 1988). Gobrecht remains the second-winningest coach in conference history with a 160-92 (.635) mark and she ranks 34th among active Division I coaches with 382 career victories.

Opponent Notes

CS Northridge (0-4) -- Cal State Northridge is enduring a difficult start to the 2002 season. With an 0-4 record, the Matadors have dropped games to Syracuse (80-57), Fresno State (65-71), Marshall (76-58) and San Francisco (95-69). The team has been outscored by an average of 18.2 points and outrebounded by 1.2. Jenny Shetters, a sophomore center from Portland, Ore., leads the team with an average of 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Senior Ebony Davis is next in line with 8.8 points and 5.5 boards per game. The team, which is made up of nine university and junior college transfers, returned two starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's roster. The Matadors finished 9-18 overall last season and 5-10 in the Big West Conference to tie for sixth place. Head coach Frozena Jerro is in her fourth season at CSN.

USC-CS Northridge Series Record -- USC is 13-9 all-time against the Matadors and has won the last nine meetings. The last time these two teams met was on Dec. 12, 1998, when the Trojans defeated CSN, 77-68, at the Lyon Center.

CS Northridge Probable Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg

31 Myesha Saleem Forward 6-0 4.5 6.2 1.0 1.0
44 Denise Cardenas Forward 5-11 8.0 1.8 1.3 2.5
42 Jenny Shetters Center 6-4 14.7 5.7 2.0 0.3
3 Kameelah Purdom Guard 5-10 6.2 3.5 0.5 0.5
21 Monica Hernandez Guard 5-7 8.2 3.5 4.3 2.3

No. 23 Notre Dame (2-3) -- Notre Dame won its first-ever NCAA women's basketball national championship last season under the leadership of 2002 Naismith Player of the Year Ruth Riley and the AP, WBCA and Atlanta Tipoff Club National Coach of the Year Muffet McGraw. Riley has since graduated, but McGraw is left with seven returning letterwinners, two returning starters and six newcomers. The 2002 Fighting Irish have experienced some bumps in the road this season, falling to Colorado State, 72-66, Arizona, 72-70, and Michigan, 78-63, last Sunday (Dec. 2). Notre Dame defeated Valparaiso, 42-35, in the season-opener and beat Army, 89-51, last week (Nov. 26). Returning All-American guard Alicia Ratay led with 19 points and seven rebounds against the Wolverines. Ratay leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) and has a 44.6 average shooting percentage. Jacqueline Batteast leads the team in rebounds with 8.2 boards per game.

USC-Notre Dame Series Record -- Despite the long storied history these two football programs share in football, USC and Notre Dame have only met three times in women's basketball history. The first meeting took place in 1995 and resulted in a 69-53 USC victory. Since then, the Fighting Irish won the last two games - a 74-59 win in South Bend in 1999 and a 70-61 victory at the Sports Arena last season.

Notre Dame Probable Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg
3 Ericka Haney Forward 6-1 4.8 5.0 0.4 1.2
21 Jacqueline Batteast Forward 6-1 12.4 8.2 1.2 1.0
12 Teresa Borton Center 6-3 7.0 6.2 1.2 0.6
4 Le'Tania Severe Guard 5-9 10.4 3.0 5.0 1.6
22 Alicia Ratay Guard 5-11 15.4 6.2 2.2 1.0

Player Profiles

#3 Tiffany Elmore (Guard * Senior)
Tiffany Elmore begins her senior season with the Women of Troy... A player who brings life to the team both on and off the court... A talented and athletic player who will be looked upon to make great contributions in her final season... A returning starter on the perimeter and two-time All-Pac-10 selection (honorable mention 1999 and 2000).
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): started, 17 points (5-11), 6 rebounds, 1 steal... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 4 points (1-5), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals... vs. Florida (11/24): 4 points (2-6), 7 rebounds, 2 steals... vs. Morgan St (11/21): DNP (injury)... at Tenn (11/18): DNP (injury)... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, 11 points (4-8), 2 rebounds, suffered a neck sprain at 15:31 in the second half and was forced to leave the game.

#5 Ashley Conrad (Guard * Freshman)
Ashley Conrad begins her first season with the Women of Troy as a redshirt freshman... Enrolled at USC in the spring of 2001 and was named to the Dean's List ... A walk-on who will add depth at the guard position.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): DNP... vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): DNP... at Tenn (11/18): DNP... at St. Joe's (11/16): DNP.

#10 Jessica Cheeks (Guard * Sophomore)
Jessica Cheeks begins her second season with the Women of Troy... Was moved into the point guard position last season... Became a great asset for the team to have her size and agility at the point... A returning starter.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): started, 3 points (0-5), career high 8 rebounds, 3 assists... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 11 points (4-10), 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 steals... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 8 points (2-4), 3 rebounds... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 15 points (6-13), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals... at Tenn (11/18): started, 5 points (2-9), 1 rebound, 3 steals, led with 4 assists... vs. St. Joe's (11/16): started, 12 points (3-7), collected a career high 7 rebounds and 7 assists, 3 steals.

#12 Leslie Donester (Guard * Freshman)
Leslie Donester begins her first season with the Women of Troy as a walk-on freshman guard.
This Season: Missed the first six games... Added to the roster on Dec. 3.

#14 Carmen Krause (Forward * Senior)
Carmen Krause returns for her senior season with the Women of Troy... An important inspirational leader who motivates the team with the same heart she plays with... An outstanding defender who will be relied upon for her toughness in the post.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): started, 7 points (1-5), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 5 points (1-3), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 6 points (2-5), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1steal... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 6 points (2-6), 1 assist, led with 9 rebounds... at Tenn (11/18): 5 points (1-6), 5 rebounds, 2 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, fouled out with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal.

#15 Lauren Smith-Hams (Guard * Junior)
Lauren Smith-Hams begins her junior season with the Women of Troy... Was quieter off the bench as a sophomore, but maintained a strong level of defense... A significant scoring threat who will fight for her position on the court.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): DNP... vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 1 rebound, 2 assists... at Tenn (11/18): 1 assist... at St. Joe's (11/16): 2 points (1-3), 2 assists.

#21 Erin Young (Guard/Forward * Junior)
Erin Young enters her junior season with the Women of Troy as a walk-on guard... Her shooting abilities are crucial to the team... Looks to become more explosive after a quiet sophomore year.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): DNP... vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 4 points (2-4), 2 rebounds, 1 assist... at Tenn (11/18): 3 points (1-4), 1 steal... at St. Joe's (11/16): played 1 minute.

#23 Aisha Hollans (Guard * Sophomore)
Aisha Hollans begins her second season with the Women of Troy... One of the most gifted guards in the conference who had a difficult time last season while recovering from an early season injury... An important player to have on the court at all times... A returning starter on the perimeter and returning All-Pac-10 selection (freshman honorable mention).
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): started, double-double with 15 points and career-high 10 rebounds, 2 assists, tied a career high with 2 blocks... Named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 14 points (5-14), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): started, led with a career high 29 points (11-24) and nine rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist ... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, led with 19 points (7-14), collected a career-high five assists, had 6 rebounds, 1 steal... at Tenn (11/18): started, tied a career-high with 26 points (9-24) and surpassed career-highs with 8 free throws made, 9 free throw attempts and 24 field goal attempts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, led with 21 points (8-18), hit 3-of-10 three-pointers, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block.

#24 Ryane Alexander (Guard * Sophomore)
Ryane Alexander begins her second season with the Women of Troy... Proven to be a hard-nosed player with great intensity and toughness... Possesses a great sense of commitment to running the offense... Looks to develop consistency with experience.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): played 10 minutes... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 14 points (5-14), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): 1 assist, first career block... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 5 points (1-4), 3 rebounds, 1 assist... at St. Joe's (11/16): 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 rebound.

#32 Ebony Hoffman (Forward * Sophomore)
Ebony Hoffman enters her second season with the Women of Troy... One of the most dominating post players in the conference who had an outstanding freshman campaign... Underwent shoulder surgery this March and looks to be a healthier and more experienced player this season... A returning starter in the post who earned All-Pac-10 (honorable mention) and a Freshman All-American (WBJ and Basketball Times) honors last season.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): started, double-double with 14 points (6-13), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal... Named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team... vs. Texas (11/25): started, led with 18 points (7-9), 4 rebounds, 1 assist... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 10 points (4-10), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 steals... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 13 points (4-9), led with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals... at Tenn (11/18): started, 2 points (0-5), 3 rebounds, 3 steals, fouled out... at St. Joe's (11/16): collected 16 of 17 total points (6-16) in second half, hit career-high 3 (3-5) three-pointers, led with 10 rebounds for first double-double, 2 steals.

#33 Rachel Woodward (Forward * Freshman)
Rachel Woodward enters her first season with the Women of Troy... A talented passer who runs the floor well... She can catch, pass and finish on the move... Will work well in transition without having to compromise her strong rebounding skills... Brings great size to the forward position.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): double-double with 13 points (5-15), 10 rebounds, 1 block... vs. Texas (11/25): 6 points (1-3), 4 rebounds... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 8 points (4-9), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 11 points (5-8), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block... at Tenn (11/18): started, 16 points (7-14), led with 7 rebounds and 5 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, 5 points (2-6), 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal.

#35 Portia Mitchell (Center * RS Sophomore)
Portia Mitchell begins her redshirt sophomore year at USC... Her continued development will make a strong impact on the team... A player with good skills and great size... Continues to mature as a hard-working, responsible player.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): played 3 minutes... vs. Texas (11/25): 4 points (2-4), career-high 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal... vs. Florida (11/24): 2 points (1-3), 4 rebounds...vs. Morgan St (11/21): made first career start, career high 10 points (4-7) and 17 minutes played, 2 rebounds... at Tenn (11/18): set a career-high with 3 blocks, tied a career-high with 4 points (1-5), also had 3 rebounds, 1 assist, fouled out... at St. Joe's (11/16): played 2 minutes.

#44 Kim Gipson (Center * Freshman)
Kim Gipson begins her first season with the Women of Troy... A terrific, big-time physical player who will excel as her skills and understanding of the game improve... An exceptional and bright athlete whose natural skills will bring her much success... She possesses the type of demeanor a coach always wants on the floor.
This Season:
vs. BYU (11/29): 4 points (1-2), 1 rebounds... vs. Texas (11/25): played 4 minutes... vs. Florida (11/24): 4 points (2-3), 2 rebounds...vs. Morgan St (11/21): 4 points (2-5), led with 9 rebounds, 1 steal... at Tenn (11/18): started, 2 points (1-1), 5 rebounds... at St. Joe's (11/16): 4 points (1-6), 3 rebounds.

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