Women Of Troy Host Oregon, Oregon State

Dec. 30, 2004

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THIS WEEK


Downtown Showdown presented by the Rafu Shimpo
Sunday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m.
vs. Oregon (Sports Arena)
Live Audio: www.usctrojans.com
Live Stats: www.usctrojans.com


Come for FREE Pizza and Drinks at lunch!
Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m.
vs. Oregon State (Lyon Center)
Live Audio: www.usctrojans.com
Live Stats: www.usctrojans.com



The Facts
Coming off a narrow loss to UCLA, the USC women's basketball team (6-4, 0-1 Pac-10) looks for its first Pac-10 victory of the season when it hosts Oregon (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10) and Oregon State (4-7, 0-2 Pac-10) this week. Playing their second and third games in an eight-day span, the Women of Troy welcome the Ducks on Sunday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. at the Sports Arena, then face the Beavers on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m. at the Lyon Center.

* The Trojans suffered a 62-61 loss to the crosstown rival Bruins to begin Pac-10 play on Dec. 28. USC fought back from two double-digit deficits but missed three last-second shot attempts for the upset. Sophomore Eshaya Murphy and freshman Camille LeNoir led the Women of Troy with 13 points apiece.

* Oregon, currently leading the Pac-10, stunned fifth-ranked Stanford, 62-58, on Wednesday and defeated California, 81-50, on Monday to start Pac-10 play at 2-0. Oregon State began their conference season at 0-2 with losses to Stanford, 83-45, and Cal, 77-71.

* Women's basketball will be the pregame show to the Orange Bowl game on Jan. 4. The Women of Troy will look for a win against the Beavers that afternoon before Troy's football team looks for its second-straight national title against Oklahoma at 5 p.m. PT. Come out to support the Women of Troy at the Lyon Center before the football showdown and enjoy free pizza and drinks!

* It's a new start for USC as it continues play in the 2004-05 season under first-year head coach Mark Trakh. Trakh, who was hired in April and boasts a history of success after spending 11 seasons at nearby Pepperdine and 13 years at the prep level, has high hopes for his young squad made up of nine returning letterwinners and four newcomers.

USC And Rafu Shimpo Present Downtown Showdown
USC, the Little Tokyo Recreation Center and the Rafu Shimpo, the nation's largest Japanese bilingual daily based in Los Angeles, join to sponsor the 'The Downtown Showdown' at the USC-Oregon game this Sunday in order to raise funds for the LTRC. Tickets for the game are specially priced at $5 each and for each ticket sold, USC will donate 40 percent of the proceeds to the Little Tokyo Recreation Center building fund.

Winners Enter Pac-10 Play
At 6-4, this remains USC's best start since the 1998 season and the first time since then that the team has begun the conference season with a winning record (6-3).

USC In Pac-10 Openers
• The Women of Troy are 9-9 in the first road game of each Pac-10 season, and 14-5 in the first home game.
• USC is 12-8 all-time in Pac-10 openers - 5-4 on the road, 7-3 at home and 0-1 at a neutral site.
• This is the fourth time the Trojans opened the Pac-10 season against rival UCLA (1990-91, 1989-90, 2003-04).
• Last year, the Women of Troy defeated the Bruins, 64-51, at home to begin the conference schedule. USC made its first road trip of the season the following week and split with a victory at Oregon, 69-55, and a loss at Oregon State, 72-67.

We're Almost There
The Women of Troy have gotten 'really close' to that breakout victory a number of times this season. Consider that of USC's four losses, three have been to ranked opponents (#20 DePaul, #6 Notre Dame, #23 UCLA), three of the four have been by four points or less (56-60 vs. Notre Dame, 73-76 at BYU, 61-62 at UCLA) and three have been on the road (11/20 at DePaul, 12/18 at BYU, 12/28 at UCLA).

UCLA Game RecapUnranked USC fought back from two large deficits to give No. 23 UCLA all it could handle in the Pac-10 season opener on Dec. 28 at Pauley Pavilion. Behind 13 points from Eshaya Murphy and Camille LeNoir, the Women of Troy fell 62-61 to the Bruins in front of 3,501 in the first Lexus Gauntlet match-up of the season. Trailing by as much as 10 points late in the second half, USC used defensive pressure to climb its way back into the game. In the end, the Bruins survived several last-second Trojans shot attempts to walk away with the win.

USC did not hit a field goal for the first seven minutes of the game, trailing 13-2 before Kim Gipson hit a layup to end the drought at 12:53. UCLA extended its lead to as much as 14 points before the Trojans launched their first comeback of the game with 10 minutes left in the half. By taking advantage of nine Bruin turnovers during this span, USC used a 19-7 run to close out the first half and enter halftime down by two, 27-25.

UCLA regained control early in the second half, scoring eight unanswered points for a 35-25 advantage. The two teams played evenly for the following 12 minutes until Murphy sank back-to-back three pointers to revive the Women of Troy and tie the game at 58 with 5:02 left on the clock. Despite never taking the lead, USC hung on in the final minutes for a shot at the win. Trailing by one with 12 seconds remaining, the Trojans had final possession but were unable to convert on three shot attempts as time ran out.

USC-Oregon Connections
• Oregon has one Southern California native on its roster - senior guard Brandi Davis (La Habra) - and three total players from California.
• Ducks' guard Corrie Mizusawa and USC guard Jamie Hagiya were both born in Torrance, Calif. Both are of Japanese-American decent.

USC-Oregon State Connections
• USC and OSU both faced and defeated South Dakota State in nonconference play this season - OSU 68-65 and USC 66-59.
• OSU second assistant coach Jualeah Woods is a 1994 graduate of USC and a four-year letterwinner (1991-94) for the Women of Troy. Woods and USC assistant coach Jody (Anton) Wynn were teammates in 1993 and 1994.
• In addition to Woods, OSU first assistant Todd Corman is also a Trojan alumnus. Corman graduated from USC in 1979 with a bachelor of art degree in cinema communication.
• USC sophomore forward Jamie Funn's sister, Nicole Funn, played at Oregon State for two seasons (2000-01). Nicole transferred to Pepperdine in 2001 and played two seasons with the Waves.
• The Beavers have seven California natives on their roster and one Southern California standout - senior guard Shannon Howell who prepped at L.A.'s St. Bernard.
• Oregon State head women's volleyball coach Nancy Somera was a former assistant volleyball coach at USC (1991-98) under then-head coach Lisa Love. Somera also played at USC (1985-88).

OPPONENTS NOTES

Oregon (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10) -- The Ducks enjoyed one of their best starts in recent years, posting seven consecutive victories to begin the year before dropping games against 10th-ranked Ohio State and at Arkansas to finish the nonconference schedule. Oregon defeated California, 81-50, in the conference opener on Dec. 26, and upset No. 5 Stanford, 62-58, on Dec. 29. The team is currently led by senior forward Catherine Kraayeveld, who is averaging 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Point guard Corrie Mizusawa leads the team with 7.1 assists and 1.6 steals per outing.

Under fourth-year head coach Bev Smith, Oregon returned four starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year's squad. The Ducks finished 14-15 overall in 2004, 6-12 in the Pac-10 for eighth place and did not advance to the postseason.

USC-Oregon Series Record -- This will be the 42nd meeting between these two teams. The Women of Troy own a 27-14 all-time record against the Ducks and a 15-5 record when playing in Los Angeles. Last season, USC swept Oregon with a 69-55 win in Eugene and a 71-56 win in Los Angeles.

Team ComparisonsTeam	Ppg	Margin	FG%	3-FG%	FT%	Rpg	Apg	TOpg	Spg	BpgUSC	67.7	+4.1	37.6	31.3	65.9	39.3	13.4	20.4	12.9	3.1Oregon	68.5	+12.3	45.5	36.3	65.9	34.9	17.5	14.8	8.0	3.6

Oregon Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg20 Kristen Forristall Forward 6-2 4.3 2.9 0.9 0.533 Catherine Kraayeveld Forward 6-4 16.4 7.5 2.7 1.244 Andrea Bills Center 6-3 10.0 5.9 0.8 1.32 Chelsea Wagner Guard 5-10 6.8 1.8 0.9 0.913 Corrie Mizusawa Guard 5-8 4.7 1.3 7.1 1.6

Oregon State (4-7, 0-2 Pac-10) -- The Beavers struggled through nonconference play, going 4-5. The team defeated Idaho State, South Dakota State, South Alabama and Pacific, but fell to Kentucky, Rutgers, Creighton, UCSB and Florida. Oregon State opened the Pac-10 schedule with a loss to fifth-ranked Stanford, 83-45, on Dec. 27, and fell to California, 77-71, on Dec. 29. Senior guard Shannon Howell leads the team with 20.4 points per game, while junior forward Kim Butler, the only other player averaging double figures in scoring (10.6 ppg), leads the team with 5.2 boards per outing. Howell also boasts a team-best 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.

Under 10th-year head coach Judy Spoelstra, the Beavers returned two starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year's squad. In 2004, Oregon State finished 17-15 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-10 for seventh place. The team advanced to the third round of the WNIT.

USC-Oregon State Series Record -- USC and Oregon State have engaged in some competitive battles over the last few years. Twenty-one points (an average of 3.5 points per game) have decided the previous six-of-seven meetings between these two teams, with the only exception being a 87-44 Trojans victory in 2003. The Women of Troy boast a 26-15 all-time series record against the Beavers and a 16-5 record when playing at home. Last season, USC was swept by Oregon State, falling 67-72 in Corvallis and 66-73 at home.

Team ComparisonsTeam		Ppg	Margin	FG%	3-FG%	FT%	Rpg	Apg	TOpg	Spg	BpgUSC		67.7	+4.1	37.6	31.3	65.9	39.3	13.4	20.4	12.9	3.1Oregon State	65.7	-2.6	42.5	30.2	69.5	36.2	11.9	20.8	9.8	4.4

Oregon State Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg12 Casey Bunn Forward 6-0 5.6 5.5 1.4 1.331 Anita Rivera Forward 6-0 3.9 2.3 0.8 1.042 Kim Butler Forward 6-1 10.6 5.2 0.6 1.124 Mandy Close Guard 5-11 9.8 4.0 2.0 1.233 Shannon Howell Guard 5-9 20.4 2.4 3.3 2.4

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