Women Host Arizona, Arizona State At Lyon Center
Jan. 12, 2005
Coming off a road sweep of the Washington schools, the USC women's basketball team (10-4, 4-1 Pac-10) looks to continue its success at home as it hosts Arizona (11-4, 3-2 Pac-10) and No. 25 Arizona State (11-4, 3-2 Pac-10) this week at the Lyon Center. The Women of Troy face the Wildcats on Friday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., then welcome the Sun Devils on Sunday, Jan. 16, at noon. Both games can be heard on KMPC 1540-AM and followed on the internet via live stats and audio at www.usctrojans.com. The USC-Arizona State game will be broadcast live by Fox Sports West.
USC collected its first conference road sweep since 2001 with a 62-52 win over Washington and 77-75 overtime victory over Washington State last week. Freshman Camille LeNoir led with an average of 15.5 points per game, including 17 points against the Huskies and 14 against the Cougars. Also notable, Brynn Cameron led with 19 points at Washington and Eshaya Murphy and Kim Gipson each collected their first career double-doubles at WSU.
The Trojans are currently in third place in the Pac-10 standings.
USC is coming off a frenzied start to the Pac-10, playing the last four games in an eight-day span.
Arizona and Arizona State travel to Los Angeles this week after splitting home match-ups with the Bay Area schools last week. The Wildcats defeated California, 80-69, before falling to Stanford, 78-66. The Sun Devils started with a loss to the Cardinal, 68-57, then rebounded with a win over Cal, 66-57.
A Winning Start
At 10-4, this remains USC's best start since the 1997 season. It is also the first time since then that the team began the conference season with a winning record (6-3). But the Trojans' 4-1 start in the Pac-10 is not new. The Women of Troy also began 2004 at 4-1.
The Last Time...
The last time USC won five-straight games was during the 1997 Pac-10 season (Jan. 16-31).
The last time USC beat a ranked opponent was on Jan. 25, 2004, when the Trojans upset then-No. 6 Stanford, 59-56, at home.
The Women of Troy are leading the Pac-10 this season in an unfamiliar category - three-point field goals made. It's uncharted territory for USC, which has finished no higher than fifth in the category over the last seven years. The Trojans are averaging a conference-best 6.2 three-pointers per game.
USC also leads the Pac-10 with an average of 17.14 offensive rebounds per game, a category which they also led last season (with a 15.93 average).
A True Team Effort
Eight players are averaging more that six points a game and six average more than four rebounds per outing (Prior to the Washington game, USC and UW were the only Pac-10 teams without a double-figure scorer, but since then Brynn Cameron improved her average to 10.2 ppg). Eight players have taken turns leading the team in scoring through 12 games played this season, and five players have shared the lead in rebounding.
In Every Game
Despite the four losses, the Women of Troy can claim that they've been in every game. 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).
The Wildcats have five California players on their roster, including center Danielle Adefeso (Los Angeles), forward/center Shannon Hobson (Perris), guard Linda Pace (San Diego) center Shawntinice Polk (Hanford) and forward Chari Smith (Los Angeles).
Wildcat senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler and Trojan sophomore Chloé Kerr both hail from the Chicago area. Wheeler prepped at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in Chicago, while Kerr prepped at Bolingbrook (Ill.) High. Both played club basketball for Chicago Hoops Express.
Common Opponents: Ironically, USC and Arizona both faced BYU in nonconference play this season and both posted the same final score. The difference is that the Wildcats beat the Cougars at BYU, 76-73, on Nov. 27, while USC lost 76-73 in Provo Dec. 18.
USC-Arizona State Connections
Second-year Arizona State assistant coach Meg Sanders prepped at Poly High in Riverside, Calif., where she was a teammate of Hall of Famer and USC standout Cheryl Miller.
Junior forward Jenny Thigpen is the only Arizona State player that hails from California. Thigpen prepped at Hanford (Calif.) High.
Common Opponents: Arizona State and USC both defeated San Diego during nonconference play. The Sun Devils won 70-45 at home on Nov. 20 and the Women of Troy posted a 68-47 road victory on Dec. 17.
Washington Game Recap
Freshmen Brynn Cameron and Camille LeNoir combined for 36 points to lead USC to a 62-52 victory over Washington on Jan. 7 - it's first win in Seattle in five years. USC stayed in the game thanks to Cameron's 7-of-15 shooting effort (including five three-pointers), while, LeNoir's 8-of-8 effort at the line, including six-straight in the final 35 seconds, ensured the win. Cameron scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half, while LeNoir posted all 17 points in the final 10 minutes. After falling behind by as much as seven points (38-31) at the start of the second half, USC used a 14-0 run following to take the lead. The run gave the Trojans a 45-38 advantage with 8:48 left on the clock. The Huskies responded with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the score at 45-45 at 6:53, but USC outscored UW 17-to-7 in the final minutes for the win. The Trojans survived a sloppy first half thanks to Cameron's 13 points, including a three-pointer on the team's final possession. The shot knotted the score at 25-25 at the half. USC shot 34.4 percent from the field and collected 24 turnovers, but outrebounded the Huskies, 50-to-40.
Washington State Game Recap
USC scored the first six points of the overtime period to secure a 77-75 victory over Washington State in Pullman on Jan. 9. The win completed the Women of Troy's first conference road sweep since the 2001 season. Back-to-back shots and two made free throws to start the extra period proved too difficult for the Cougars to overcome as the Trojans' withstood their comeback efforts in the final minutes. As usual, USC relied on a team effort as four players finished in double figures, including Camille LeNoir who led with 14. USC went 0-for-16 to start the second half, allowing WSU to work its way back from a five-point (37-42) halftime deficit and take a 50-46 lead. Murphy collected the team's first field goal of the half on a fastbreak layup with 9:05 remaining. The shot sparked an 8-5 run to get the Trojans back in the game. Gipson's free throw shot at the one-minute mark tied the score at 65 apiece. Final possession belonged to the Women of Troy, but LeNoir's jumper with seconds remaining went in and out to send the game into overtime. The teams nearly matched each other point for point in the first half until two key Washington State turnovers allowed USC to hit back-to-back layups and distance itself, 29-23, with 6:41 left on the clock.
Team News N' Notes
By defeating Washington and Washington State on Jan. 7 and 9, the Women of Troy completed their first conference road sweep since 2001.
USC defeated Washington in Seattle on Jan. 7 for the first time since 2000, and won on the UW campus for the first time since 1998 (USC played the 2000 game at Key Arena which Hec Ed/Bank of American Arena was under renovation).
The Women of Troy hit 13-of-14 free throws at Washington (Jan. 7) for a 92.9 percent effort, which ranks third among USC program records.
USC hit 10 three-pointers at TCU (Dec. 21) to tie for third among program game records.
The Women of Troy will begin the Pac-10 season with a winning record for the first time since 1998.
The Women of Troy entered the record books twice in back-to-back games. USC hit eight three-pointers on Dec. 7 at San Diego State and nine against South Dakota State on Dec. 11. Nine treys ties for fourth among most three-pointers made in a single game and eight ties for eighth.
With a win over UMass on Nov. 19, head coach Mark Trakh notched his 200th career victory.
Player News N' Notes
Eshaya Murphy (10 pts., 11 reb.) and Kim Gipson (12 pts., 10 reb.) notched their first career double-doubles and the team's second and third of the year at Washington State on Jan. 9.
Brynn Cameron hit five three-pointers at Washington (Jan. 7) to tie for sixth among program records.
Meghan Gnekow notched her first career double-double at TCU (Dec. 21) with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Brynn Cameron topped her previous performance by sinking six three-pointer against South Dakota State on Dec. 11, tying the USC single game record.
Brynn Cameron hit four three-pointers against Harvard on Nov. 28 - a mark which ties for 10th among USC game records.
Rachel Woodward notched the team's first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 5.
Arizona (11-4, 3-2 Pac-10) -- The Wildcats are coming off a home split against the Bay Area schools, defeating California, 80-69, but falling to Stanford, 66-78. Arizona began the Pac-10 season with wins over Washington and Washington State, but suffered a 47-69 loss to instate rival Arizona State on Jan. 3. The Wildcats went 8-2 against nonconference opponents, including key wins over Saint Mary's, BYU, UTEP and UC Santa Barbara. The team is led by senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler who is averaging 19.4 points per game. Wheeler also averages a team-best 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Center Shawntinice Polk is the only other player in double figures with 13.5 points per game, while leading the team with 8.2 boards per outing.
Under 14th-year head coach Joan Bonvicini, Arizona returned four starters and nine total letterwinners from last year's squad. The Wildcats went 24-9 overall in 2004, posted a 14-4 mark in the Pac-10 to finish first and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
USC-Arizona Series Record -- Friday's game will be the 53rd all-time meeting between these two schools. USC owns a 37-15 (.712) advantage over Arizona, but has won only five-of-18 match-ups since the 1996 season. Last year, the Trojans and Wildcats each won on their home court. USC fell 64-75 in Tucson and won 68-66 in Los Angeles.
Team ComparisonsTeam Ppg Margin FG% 3-FG% FT% Rpg Apg TOpg Spg BpgUSC 68.2 +4.9 37.8 32.7 66.7 40.5 12.9 20.0 12.1 3.9Arizona 71.7 +8.7 45.2 32.7 60.1 38.5 15.3 17.5 8.9 4.0
Arizona Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg15 Anna Chappell Forward 6-1 0.8 1.0 0.2 0.050 Shannon Hobson Forward 6-2 6.5 4.5 0.5 0.411 Dee-Dee Wheeler Guard 5-6 19.4 5.1 4.5 3.012 Ashley Whisonant Guard 5-8 6.3 2.1 2.1 1.323 Natalie Jones Guard 5-10 9.3 5.1 2.5 1.3
No. 25 Arizona State (11-4, 3-2 Pac-10) -- After winning six-straight nonconference games and notching an upset victory over UConn, 61-50, on Dec. 21, the Sun Devils have garnered recognition in both polls and are currently ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Arizona State began Pac-10 play with a win at Washington State, 67-39, but has since alternated wins and losses, falling to Washington, 55-63, and Stanford, 57-68, but defeating instate rival Arizona, 69-47, and California, 66-57. The team is currently led by sophomore forward Emily Westerbeg, who is averaging 11.7 points per game. Forward Kristen Kovesdy and guard Kylan Loney are next on the list with 11.3 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Rebounding duties are spread evenly, led by Amy Densen and Aubrey Johnson, who average 4.5 boards per outing.
Under ninth-year head coach Charli Turner Thorne, Arizona State returned all five starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad. Last season, the Sun Devils went 17-12 overall and 11-7 in the Pac-10 to finish tied for third place, along with USC and UCLA. The team advanced to the first round of the WNIT.
USC-Arizona State Series Record -- The Women of Troy will face the Sun Devils for the 54th time in program history on Sunday and own a 45-8 (.849) advantage in the all-time series. USC has won the last four-straight match-ups, including a 68-65 victory in Tempe and 65-50 win in Los Angeles last season.
Team ComparisonsTeam Ppg Margin FG% 3-FG% FT% Rpg Apg TOpg Spg BpgUSC 68.2 +4.9 37.8 32.7 66.7 40.5 12.9 20.0 12.1 3.9Arizona State 66.3 +14.7 43.9 31.9 66.1 35.3 17.3 19.5 11.8 2.0
Arizona State Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg4 Emily Westerberg Forward 6-0 11.7 3.9 2.2 1.333 Amy Denson Forward 6-1 6.7 4.5 2.7 1.554 Kristen Kovesdy Forward 6-3 11.3 3.3 0.8 0.610 Kylan Loney Guard 5-7 10.8 1.7 2.5 0.930 Carrie Buckner Guard 5-9 5.3 4.4 2.2 2.8