Women's Hoops Falls to USC 58-53

Jan. 18, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman Jill Noe had 15 points as the Arizona State women's basketball team lost its second straight close game, falling to USC 58-53 Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. With the loss, the Sun Devils fell to 11-6 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-10, while USC improved to 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the Pac-10.

It was the tale of two halves for the Sun Devils who took control of the first 20 minutes of the game. USC scored the first four points of the game, but ASU scored the next eight points to go up 8-4 with 16:03 left and never looked back. ASU pushed its lead to double digits midway through the half and took their biggest advantage when Noe nailed a three-pointer with 12 seconds left to give ASU a 34-18 halftime lead. Noe led all players with 11 points and six rebounds in the first half, while the Sun Devils turned in their second-best first-half performance of the year, knocking down 59.1 percent of their shots (13-22)

USC began its comeback at the beginning of the second half, opening the period with a 10-0 to cut the Sun Devil lead to six, 34-28 with 16:09 to play. ASU held onto a single-digit lead for the next 13 minutes, but the Women of Troy made their move late in the half, using a 9-0 run, including six points from junior Ebony Hoffman, to take a 54-53 lead with 1:12 to play. USC held the Sun Devils scoreless over the final 1:12 of the game, and Hoffman and junior Jessica Cheeks each hit a pair of late free throws to secure the 58-53 victory.

After shooting 59.1 percent in the first half, ASU shot just 16.7 percent in the second half (5-30).

For the Sun Devils, Noe led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Carrie Buckner and freshman Kristen Kovesdy each had eight points. Sophomore Kylan Loney led the team with six assists.

USC's Hoffman led all scorers with 16 points, 12 coming in the second half, while Cheeks also scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half. Sophomore Rachel Woodward had 13 rebounds for the Women of Troy, while Cheeks also led the team with six assists.

The Sun Devils return to action Thursday night, playing host to instate rival and 22nd-ranked Arizona at 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. The game can be heard on NBC 1190 locally and will be televised by AZ-TV.

For tickets, call the Arizona State ticket office at (480) 965-2381 or log onto the official web site of Arizona State athletics at www.thesundevils.com.

- www.thesundevils.com -

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