Final Layups Give Women Of Troy 64-63 Win Over Pepperdine

Dec. 4, 2002

LOS ANGELES - With two driving layups in the final minute by guard Jessica Cheeks, the USC women's basketball team came away with a 64-63 victory over Pepperdine in Malibu on Wednesday night. With the win, the Women of Troy improve to 4-2 overall this season and remain undefeated against the Waves. Pepperdine drops to 2-3 to start the season.

USC had three players finish in double figures, including a double-double effort from forward Ebony Hoffman who had 20 points and 15 rebounds. Hoffman also matched her career high with four blocks. Aisha Hollans contributed 17 points and Cheeks added 14 on the night.

The Waves jumped out on top first thanks to the sharp shooting of guard Damaris Hinojosa who hit her first 3-of-3 three-pointers. But the game was plagued with fouls and USC managed to tie the score at 20-20 with two shots at the line. Pepperdine went cold at the nine-minute mark and allowed the Trojans to pull ahead. USC entered the break up 40-33.

The Women of Troy pushed took a 10-point lead, 52-42, at the start of the second half thanks to a three-pointer by Meghan Gnekow at the 13-minute mark. But their lead did not last long as the Waves used a 7-0 run to pull within three (56-53) at 5:56. Pepperdine took its first lead, 59-58, since the start of the game on a jumper by guard Shandrika Lee with two minutes remaining (59-58).

Trailing by three, Cheeks took the inbound pass and drove the length of the court for a jumper that put USC within one, 63-62, as the clocked hit 1:00. Then on the ensuing possession, Cheeks raced past Lee for a driving layup that would eventually seal the win for the Women of Troy, 64-63, with 16 seconds left. Pepperdine attempted to convert in the final seconds but could not get a shot to fall.

The Waves were led by Lee and Hinojosa who finished the game with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

The Trojans hit the road at the end of the week to face defending national champion Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 8, in Hartford. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. EST.

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