Late Surge Not Enough As USC Women Fall At Arizona

Jan. 15, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz. - USC's late surge was not enough as the Women of Troy fell to Arizona, 75-64, on Thursday night in Tucson. Despite their second-half efforts, the Trojans were unable to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit.

Thanks to Dee-Dee Wheelers' 20-point effort, including 17 points in the first half, Arizona improved to 13-4 overall and 5-1 in the Pac-10, while USC fell to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

With four minutes remaining in the opening period, a three-pointer by Eshaya Murphy brought USC within two points, 30-28, but the half was far from over for the Women of Troy. At 3:54 Arizona embarked on a 14-0 run, scoring seven consecutive baskets and keeping the Trojans scoreless for the remaining minutes. USC miscues, including five turnovers and six missed shots, gave Arizona a 16-point lead at the break, 44-28.

The Wildcats made 19 of 26 field goals (73.1 percent) by intermission and forced USC to 29 percent shooting (10-34).

Arizona didn't seal the game until the final minutes, however. The Wildcats led 69-55 with 5:05 remaining in the game after a Shawntinice Polk lay-in. USC then scored nine straight to close to within five, 69-64, with 49 seconds left before the Wildcats sealed the outcome with free throws and a breakaway lay-up by Natalie Jones.

Ebony Hoffman led USC with 17 points, while Murphy had 15. Murphy also contributed a game-best eight steals in the effort. Polk finished with 17 points, while Aimee Grzyb and Natalie Jones each added 11 for Arizona.

Neither team was able to protect the ball as USC finished with 30 turnovers and notched 20 steals. Arizona posted 36 turnovers and 19 steals.

Arizona's 65.9 field goal shooting percentage in the game marks the second highest ever for a USC opponent. The Wildcats' 36 turnovers tied the eighth-most in Trojan history.

The Women of Troy continue their trip through the desert on Saturday, Jan. 17, when USC faces Arizona State at 2 p.m. MST.

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