No. 21 Gauchos Ground Women of Troy

Jan. 9, 2003

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Despite double-figure performances by Ebony Hoffman and Aisha Hollans, the USC women's basketball team fell to 21st-ranked UC Santa Barbara - its sixth ranked opponent of the season - 72-57 before a crowd of 2,759 on Thursday night at UCSB's Thunderdome.

The loss drops the Women of Troy to 6-9 overall, while the Gauchos improve to 9-2 with their 16th consecutive home victory.

After trailing Santa Barbara 5-0 at the start of the game, USC took its first and only lead when a layup by Hoffman put the Trojans ahead 21-19 with 7:05 remaining before halftime. But USC's advantage was brief as the Gauchos used a 15-2 run to close the period and take a 36-23 lead into the locker rooms.

The shooting woes for the Women of Troy continued at the outset of the second half before Hollans ended over an eight-minute offensive drought with a layup at the 16:56 mark. Santa Barbara responded with a Lisa Willett three-pointer and a lay-in by Lindsay Taylor to take its largest lead at 47-25 with 12:42 left to play.

At that point, a string of seven unanswered points cut USC's deficit to 12 with 1:56 remaining, but it was too little too late. UCSB's Debby Caine put an exclamation point on the victory with another three from the left wing and the Gauchos sealed a 72-57 win.

Hoffman posted a game-high point total of 17, while Hollans contributed 14. USC had a frustrating night from behind the three-point line, making just one of 19 long-range attempts. The Trojans were outrebounded, 49 to 28.

USC travels to face crosstown rival UCLA this Sunday, Jan. 12, at Noon at Pauley Pavilion.

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