USC Women's Basketball To Face Louisville In NCAA Tournament First Round

March 13, 2005

The USC women's basketball team will face Louisville on Saturday (March 19) in Minneapolis in the first round of the 64-team 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. Tipoff time will be announced.

The Women of Troy are making their 14th NCAA appearance, but their first since 1997. USC, which is 19-10 this season and tied for second in the Pac-10 at 12-6, won NCAA titles in 1983 and 1984.

USC is the eighth seed in the Kansas City Regional. Louisville, which is 22-8, is the ninth seed. The Cardinals lost in the finals of the Conference USA Tournament to TCU, a team that USC beat by a point on the road last December.

The victor will play the winner of the Michigan State (28-3, top seed)-Alcorn State (21-8, 16th seed) contest in a second round game on Monday (March 21). The regional will be held in Kansas City on March 27 and 29, with the Final Four in Indianapolis on April 3 and 5.

USC is guided by new head coach Mark Trakh, who directed Pepperdine to three NCAA berths in his tenure there (2000-02-03). The Women of Troy feature a balanced attack, with nine players averaging between 5.2 and 10.2 points and six whose rebounding average is between 3.9 and 6.0. Pac-10 All-Freshman first teamer Brynn Cameron is the leading scorer (10.2), while junior Meghan Gnekow is the top rebounder (6.0) and No. 2 scorer (8.8).

'This is big,' said Trakh. 'It's a great feeling, because at the start of the year we didn't know if we could get here today. So we're ecstatic. We didn't care who we played or what seed we got. This is just the beginning of the building of something special here at USC.

'But we're not happy just to go, we want to win some games. I'm glad our players are so happy, but we want to win. We know Louisville is a very good team.

'We've exceeded expectations this year. We play well together and have great chemistry. At times, we haven't shot well or defended well, but our team chemistry gets us through.'

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