Trojans Host Washington State, Washington

Feb. 1, 2005

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THIS WEEK


Thursday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.
vs. Washington State (Sports Arena)
Live Audio: www.usctrojans.com
Live Stats: www.usctrojans.com



Saturday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m.

vs. Washington (Sports Arena)
Radio: KMPC 1540 AM
Live Audio: www.usctrojans.com
Live Stats: www.usctrojans.com
S.C.O.P.E. - Kids are invited to spend a day learning about
Trojan basketball and college life.
For more information, please call 213-821-0781.



The Facts
After playing the last four-straight games on the road, the USC women's basketball team (14-6, 8-3 Pac-10) returns to Los Angeles this week to host Washington State (5-15, 1-0 Pac-10) and Washington (9-12, 5-6 Pac-10). The Women of Troy welcome the Cougars on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., then host the Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. Both games will be played at the Sports Arena. Saturday's USC-Washington game will be broadcast on KMPC 1540-AM. Both games will be available via live stats and audio at www.usctrojans.com.

• USC is coming off a split against the Oregon schools last week. The Women of Troy defeated Oregon State, 69-59, on Jan. 27, but fell at Oregon, 59-81, on Jan. 29.

• The Women of Troy remain in second place in the Pac-10 standings, one-half game ahead of Arizona and two games behind conference-leading Stanford.

• The Trojans are glad to be home after spending the last three of four weeks traveling. The team's last six-of-eight games and last four-straight have all been on the road. During this time, USC compiled a 6-2 record.

• Washington State and Washington are both coming off a split against the Bay Area schools. The Cougars beat Cal, 79-69, on Jan. 27 for their first Pac-10 win of the season, and lost to Stanford, 56-69, on Jan. 29. The Huskies fell to Stanford, 60-82, then defeated Cal, 80-76.

• 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.

The Last Time...
• The last time the Women of Troy completed a season sweep against Washington State and Washington was in 2000 (this was also the last time USC beat UW in Seattle).

Everyone Gets Their Turn
Against Oregon, USC utilized its ninth starting lineup of the season. No lineup has played together for more than four games (see page 6), with the group of Kim Gipson, Jamie Funn, Meghan Gnekow, Brynn Cameron and Camille LeNoir enjoying the most success at 4-1.

Cameron And USC Among National Leaders
According to NCAA rankings released on Feb. 1, freshman guard Brynn Cameron ranks eighth nationally in three-point field goal percentage (45.7). As a team, USC ranks 24th in steals per game with an 11.7 per game average.

It's All About Hustle
Despite a 37.7 average field goal percentage, the Women of Troy have gotten this far thanks to pure hustle. USC has outrebounded opponents 39.7-to-38.5 (+1.2) and forced an average of 22.8 turnovers per game. The Trojans also lead the Pac-10 with an average of 16.65 offensive rebounds per game, a category which they also led last season (with a 15.93 average).

Junior guard/forward Meghan Gnekow ranks second in the Pac-10 with an average of 2.79 offensive boards per game, while teammate Eshaya Murphy (2.30) ranks 10th.

A True Team Effort
Eight players are averaging more that 6.1 points a game and five average more than 4.3 rebounds per outing. Eight players have taken turns leading the team in scoring through 20 games played this season, and six players have shared the lead in rebounding.

Team Effort vs. The Nation
How does USC's team effort stack-up against other Division I schools? The Trojans' eight different leading scorers ties for second, falling behind Morehead State who has had 10 players lead the team in scoring. 66.7 percent of USC's active roster (8-of-12) has led in scoring, ranking third behind Morehead State (83.3, 10-12) and Wright State (80.0, 8-10)

Turning the Corner
The Women of Troy collected a 7-2 record in the first half of the Pac-10 season, matching last season's start. It's the programs best league start since 1997 when the Trojans finished 16-2 and captured the Pac-10 title.

The Win Column
At 14-5, this remains USC's best record 19 games into the season since the 1997 season. It is also the first time since 1997 that the team began the conference season with a winning record (6-3). Before the loss to Stanford, Its seven-game win streak was the longest since 1994.

Unfamiliar Territory
Currently ranked third, the Women of Troy have spent the season among the Pac-10's top three teams in three-point field goals made. It's unfamiliar territory for USC, which has finished no higher than fifth in the category over the last seven years. The Trojans are currently averaging 5.80 three-pointers per game. Oregon tops the list with a 6.35 average.

The Toughest Competition
Consider that of USC's six losses, four have been to ranked opponents (#20 DePaul, #6 Notre Dame, #23 UCLA, #5 Stanford), three of the five have been by four points or less (56-60 vs. Notre Dame, 73-76 at BYU, 61-62 at UCLA) and five have been on the road (11/20 at DePaul, 12/18 at BYU, 12/28 at UCLA, 1/22 at Stanford, 1/29 at Oregon).

USC-Washington State Connections
• Washington State has three California natives on its roster - junior guard Charmaine Jones, who hails from Rolling Hills Prep in Los Angeles, junior transfer center Keisha Moore, who prepped at J.W. North High in Riverside, and freshman guard Jordan McCormick, who hails from El Cerrito.
• USC sophomore center Markisha Lea and WSU's Keisha Moore both hail from Riverside. Lea prepped at Martin Luther King High.
• Cougar head coach Sherri Murrell is a graduate of Pepperdine and played two seasons (1990-91) for the Waves at point guard. Murrell preceded former Waves head coach and current USC coach Mark Trakh by just a few years. Trakh began his 11-year stint at the helm of the Pepperdine program in 1994.

USC-Washington Connections
• Washington and USC both faced a top 10 Notre Dame team this season. On Nov. 26, the Trojans nearly upset a then-No. 6 Notre Dame squad, 60-56. Washington fell to the then-No. 7 Fighting Irish, 72-58, on Dec. 11.
• Former USC head coach Chris Gobrecht coached at Washington for 11 years (1986-96) before her one-year stint at Florida State and seven years spent at USC from 1998-2004.
• Washington boasts four California natives on its roster - freshmen guards Dominique Banks (Stockton) and Stefanie Clark (Lakeview Terrace) and sophomore guards Cheri Craddock (Oakland) and Cameo Hicks (Tracy).
• USC freshman Camille LeNoir and UW's Stefanie Clark both played club basketball for the Original Girls Developmental League (OGDL).

Oregon State Game Recap
USC withstood Oregon State's last-minute efforts to beat the Beavers, 69-59, at Gill Coliseum on Jan. 27. While trying to embark on a late comeback, the Beavers forced the Trojans to spend the final two minutes of the game entirely at the free throw line. Led by Rachel Woodward who hit 7-of-8 attempts during the stretch, the Trojans scored their final 12 points at the stripe. Brynn Cameron finished with a team-best 12 points, while Woodward and Meghan Gnekow added 11 apiece. Oregon State's sloppy play allowed the Women of Troy to score 29 points off turnovers and tally 13 second-chance points. The Beavers committed 26 turnovers in the game, while the Trojans capitalized on 13 steals. USC led from the start, taking an early 13-3 advantage while holding OSU without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the game. Following a 32-22 halftime score, USC extended its lead to as much as 16 points in the second half. A 12-6 run with 9:37 remaining gave the Women of Troy their largest lead of the game at 50-34.

Oregon State Game Recap
Oregon's offense proved too difficult to stop, as USC endured an 81-59 loss to the Ducks on Jan. 29. Oregon shot 61.7 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from three-point range, while the Trojans finished shooting at a 34.3 percent clip. USC forced 21 turnovers and only committed eight of its own, despite being unable to capitalize on the opportunities. Eshaya Murphy and Brynn Cameron led the Women of Troy with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Murphy also led with eight rebounds. The Ducks used a 9-0 run to start the second half and increase their lead to as much as 25 points, 54-29, with 17:30 on the clock. In their best series of the game, the Women of Troy answered with a 12-0 run of their own. Fueled by Meghan Gnekow's five points, the run brought the Trojans within 14 points, 58-44, at the nine-minute mark. Unfortunately that was as close as USC would get. Catherine Kraayeveld and Andrea Bills each hit a pair of three-pointers down the stretch to rebuild the Ducks' lopsided advantage en route to the 22-point win. The Women of Troy got themselves into a 16-point hole (45-29) after allowing Oregon to score at will in the paint for most of the first half. The Ducks, who shot 57.7 percent in the first 20 minutes, also hit key three-pointers to end any USC attempt at a run.

OPPONENT NOTES

Washington State (5-15, 1-10 Pac-10) -- Washington State practically alternated wins and losses throughout its nonconference schedule to enter Pac-10 play with a 4-5 record. The team notched wins over Boise State, Saint Mary's, Portland State and San Diego State. After losing their first 11-straight conference games, the Cougars captured their first Pac-10 victory last week by defeating California, 79-69, on Jan. 27. Last week, WSU also fell to Stanford, 56-69. Forward Kate Benz and guard Adriane Ferguson lead the team with 11.1 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. Benz also leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per game and point guard Jessica Perry averages a team-best 3.2 assists per game.

Under third-year head coach Sherri Murrell, Washington State returned seven letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad. In 2004, the Cougars went 6-22 overall and 2-16 in the Pac-10 to finish in 10th place.

USC-Washington State Series Record -- Thursday's game will mark the 40th all-time meeting between these two schools. USC is currently riding an nine-game win streak against the Cougars after escaping with a 77-75 overtime victory in Pullman on Jan. 9. The Trojans last loss was a 78-79 defeat in Pullman in 2001. Last season, the Women of Troy defeated WSU 82-52 in Los Angeles and 83-47 on the road.

Team ComparisonsTeam		Ppg	Margin	FG%	3-FG%	FT%	Rpg	Apg	TOpg	Spg	BpgUSC		67.5	+3.0	37.7	32.1	66.2	39.7	12.9	18.7	11.7	3.6Washington St.	57.3	-8.3	35.2	30.8	67.9	38.5	13.1	19.2	8.5	2.4

Washington State Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg32 Kate Benz Forward 6-2 11.1 9.8 1.0 1.241 Keisha Moore Center 6-2 5.8 5.2 0.6 1.03 Jessica Perry Guard 5-6 4.5 2.3 3.2 1.524 Adriane Ferguson Guard 6-0 11.0 3.8 0.6 0.423 Charmaine Jones Guard 5-6 9.1 2.5 2.2 2.2

Washington (9-12, 5-6 Pac-10) -- The Huskies went 4-6 against nonconference opponents, defeating foes such as South Carolina, Minnesota, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Denver. But the team entered Pac-10 play on a three-game losing skid and dropped the conference-opener to Arizona, 63-67. Since then, UW has gone 5-5 in the Pac-10, including last week's loss to Stanford, 60-82, and win over California, 80-76. Similar to the Women of Troy, the Huskies have a very balanced attack and do not feature a player in double figures. Redshirt junior guard Kristen O'Neill holds a slight edge with 9.7 points per game and fellow redshirt junior guard Kayla Burt averages 9.2 points. Burt guides the team with 2.8 assists per game and redshirt sophomore forward Jill Bell leads the team with 6.0 rebounds per outing.

Under ninth-year head coach June Daugherty, Washington returned seven letterwinners and only two starters from last year's squad. The 2004 Huskies finished the season with a 18-13 overall record, a 9-9 mark in the Pac-10 for sixth place and advanced to the second round of the WNIT (after defeating Mark Trakh's Pepperdine squad in the first round).

USC-Washington Series Record -- This will be the 41st meeting between these two teams. Washington owns the all-time advantage, 25-15, but USC owns a 10-8 advantage when playing Los Angeles. Earlier this season, the Women of Troy broke a five-game losing streak to the Huskies in Seattle with a 62-52 victory on Jan. 7. Last season, USC beat UW in Los Angeles, 70-50, to start the year, but fell in Seattle, 70-72, and in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament, 50-67.

Team ComparisonsTeam		Ppg	Margin	FG%	3-FG%	FT%	Rpg	Apg	TOpg	Spg	BpgUSC		67.5	+3.0	37.7	32.1	66.2	39.7	12.9	18.7	11.7	3.6Washington	65.9	-3.0	36.7	31.9	69.3	37.7	14.0	16.8	10.5	3.3

Washington Probable StartersNo. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg1 Jill Bell Forward 6-0 9.1 6.0 0.7 1.04 Emily Florence Guard 5-5 3.2 2.1 1.9 1.25 Cameo Hicks Guard 5-10 8.7 4.3 1.7 1.110 Dominque Banks Guard 5-8 7.3 3.1 1.6 1.133 Kristen O'Neill Guard 6-1 9.7 3.5 2.0 1.1

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