USC Women Open Pac-10 Play At Home
Dec. 19, 2005
HERE AND NOW
The USC Athletic Department invites the entire USC faculty, staff and community to take a holiday lunch break at the Lyon Center and watch the USC women's basketball team open up Pac-10 play against Oregon State and Oregon. Games are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 20) and Thursday (Dec. 22).
FREE Domino's pizza and Coca-Cola soft drinks will be provided (first-come, first served) for the first 1,000 attendees at each game! Doors open at 12:15 p.m., and lunch will be available beginning at 12:45 p.m. Admission is FREE!
Live stats and audio of both games will be available online at www.usctrojans.com.
RANK AND FILE
USC (6-3) was tied at No. 25 in last week's USA Today/ESPN Poll, and received votes in the AP poll this week. Oregon State (6-1) and Oregon (8-1) are both unranked, but Oregon received votes in the AP poll.
USC's lone game last week rounded out the Trojans' nonconference schedule with a decisve 94-54 win over Cal State Fullerton. The Women of Troy put forth their best efforts from the floor this season with a .526 shooting percentage in the game, led by Chloé Kerr's 9-of-10 shooting. Kerr's .900 mark was the fifth best single-game shooting percentage in USC history and the best since 1987. Kerr scored the first eight points for USC to help the Trojans overcome a slow start, and she was the first of five USC players to hit double figures in the game, finishing with a career-high 18 points. The Titans made it a 35-27 game at the half, but in the second half the Trojans streaked ahead further on a 15-0 run that put the Titans in a 72-38 hole. USC extended that lead with its first 3-pointers of the night, as Meghan Gnekow nailed three in the final five minutes of play and Eshaya Murphy added another. Murphy matched her career best with a game-high 22 points, and Gnekow had a double-double with 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for USC. Jamie Funn also had a career night with 12 points, and Camille LeNoir scored 13. Kristen Travers nailed her first 3-pointer for the Trojans to help round out the decisive win for USC. With 55 rebounds, USC hit a new high for the season on the boards, and the 40-point margin of victory also was the largest of the year for the Women of Troy.
MURPHY LAYS DOWN THE LAW
Junior guard Eshaya Murphy has led the Women of Troy in scoring five times so far this season. She's hit double digits for the Trojans in eight of nine games, topping out with a career-high 22 against TCU on Dec. 4, and then matching that mark against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 16.
Sophomore point guard Camille LeNoir has been a key part of the balanced attack for the Women of Troy. She's been USC's top distrubutor with 4.0 assists per game, but also has been a consistent scorer as the only Trojans to hit double figures in every game this season.
HAGIYA HEATS UP
USC's starting junior point guard Jamie Hagiya went from season highs to career highs in a span of two games when she first nailed a season-best 13 points and three 3-pointers against LMU, and then upped the ante with four 3-pointers on her way to a career-high 16 points and grabbed a career-best seven steals against Cal State Northridge.
The home courts at Troy (Sports Arena and Lyon Center) largely have been a secure place for the Women of Troy. Only two teams got the best of the Trojans on their home floor last season, and the 2005-06 ride will mark the final season before the opening of the new, highly anticipated 10,258-seat Galen Center (set to open for the 2006-07 season). This season's Pac-10 schedule opens up at the Lyon Center and the final 2005-06 conference game on USC hardwood is set for Feb. 11 at the Sports Arena.
TWO FOR THE ROAD
For the first time since the 2002-03 season, USC jumped out to a 2-0 start with a pair of wins at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic. The Trojans had split in their first two games for the previous two seasons. After their opening win against Hawai'i, the Women of Troy now improve to 24-5 all-time in their season openers and 17-10 in opening road games.
The USC women's basketball team has had at least three players score in double figures in six games so far this year. In Friday's dominating win over Cal State Northridge, six players nailed double digits and all 10 players who hit the court scored in the game. At the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic, four players hit double digits in both games. Chloé Kerr, Eshaya Murphy and Camille LeNoir all hit double digits twice, as the Trojans had eight and seven different scorers, respectively, emerge against Hawai'i and Eastern Illinois. Against Notre Dame, the Women of Troy produced another balanced attack with Kerr, Murphy, LeNoir and Jamie Hagiya all scoring in double digits in the hard-fought loss to the then-No. 13 Fighting Irish. And in Friday's win over Cal State Fullerton, LeNoir, Kerr and Murphy were joined by Jamie Funn and a double-double from Meghan Gnekow in that 94-54 win.
USC's .526 shooting percentage in its 94-54 win over Cal State Fullerton was the Trojans' first time shooting over the .500 mark this season and the first such effort since Feb. 2, 2005 when they posted a .597 effort against California. Chloé Kerr had a big role in the Trojans' most recent scoring output with a .900 effort on 9-of-10 shooting. No Trojan had hit such a high mark since 1987, leaving Kerr tied at No. 5 all-time for her single-game shooting percentage against the Titans.
BACK ON THE BOARDS
USC's 27 offensive rebounds in its season opener against Eastern Illinois bettered last season's top offensive boards mark of 26, set on Feb. 12, 2005 against Arizona. USC had 52 total rebounds in that game, but bettered that mark once more against Cal State Fullerton with 55 rebounds. USC hadn't hit such a high mark on the boards since tearing down 58 against New Mexico on Nov. 21, 2003.
PRESEASON PICK 'EM
Last season's 20-11 overall record, second-place finish in the Pac-10 and second-round NCAA Tournament appearance -- coupled with a daunting 10 returners back -- translated into several preseason rankings for the Women of Troy. In 2004-05, the Trojans were one of five Pac-10 teams to reach the NCAA Tournament and win at least one game. This season, USC has been picked to finish No. 2 behind No. 1 Stanford in the Pac-10 Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the Pac-10 Media Poll behind UCLA. In the larger 2005-06 scene, USC also was chosen among the elite top 25 teams in the nation, selected at No. 22 standing in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Poll and a No. 24 slot in the Associated Press Top 25 Women's Basketball Poll. The Women of Troy join five other Pac-10 schools in the national preseason polls. In the Athlon preseason poll, USC picked up its highest ranking at No. 16, while Lindy's has the 2005-06 Trojans at No. 21.
COUNTDOWN TO GALEN
This season marks the final stint for the USC women and men in the Lyon Center and Sports Arena, as the Trojans eagerly await the completion of the highly anticipated Galen Center. The Galen is set to be the new home for basketball and volleyball for the 2006-07 season. All systems are go over at the new site, with construction in its final stages for the impressive facility. The structure is located on the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa, and will contain a 255,000 square-foot arena capable of seating 10,258 fans. Locker rooms, practice courts, offices and more will also find shelter within the Galen Center walls.
BACK IN ACTION
USC returns 10 players from last season to this year's roster, and has added to it one highly regarded recruit, one walk-on player and a complete coaching staff with their first season at Troy tucked solidly under their belts. All told, almost 80 percent of the Trojans' scoring production returns to the court for the 2005-06 campaign. Leading the way are a pair of sophomore guards -- Camille LeNoir and Brynn Cameron -- who started as freshmen and emerged as the Trojans' top two scorers. The pair accounted for 18.5 points per game last season. Even mightier as a group is this year's junior class of six -- comprised of Jamie Hagiya, Jamie Funn, Eshaya Murphy, Chloe Kerr, Allison Jaskowiak and Markisha Lea. That group averaged a combined 27.1 ppg, 17.2 rpg, 6.16 apg and 5.0 spg last season as sophomores, and all six are set to hit the court in 2005-06 as well. Now the lone senior on the squad, Meghan Gnekow brings back her experience and adept skills on the boards as the team's leading rebounder (5.8 rpg last season) and defensive stopper.
Four Opponents Ranked In Top 25
USC's schedule features four opponents ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 preseason polls, including No. 4 Ohio State (Dec. 11), No. 11/10 Stanford (Dec. 30 and Jan. 29), No. 15 Notre Dame (Nov. 27), and No. 20/18 Arizona State (Jan. 6 and Feb. 2). UCLA, TCU, Oregon and Arizona also all received votes in the polls.
Women's Basketball On LA Airwaves
KMPC-AM 1540 -- USC's flagship station -- is airing six Women of Troy basketball games this season, beginning with USC's home opener against TCU on Dec. 4. Pete Arbogast, the voice of Trojan football, will provide play-by-play, and former Trojan women's basketball standout Denise Woods ('00) will provide color commentary for the following games: Dec. 4 vs. TCU; Jan. 6 vs. Arizona State; Jan. 21 vs. UCLA; Jan. 27 vs. California, Jan. 29 vs. Stanford; and Feb. 18 vs. UCLA.
All of USC's home games can be followed with Gametracker and Live Audio at www.usctrojans.com. The audio broadcasts can be accessed by purchasing a Trojan All-Access Pass through the multimedia link at usctrojans.com. For games not broadcast by KMPC-AM 1540, Jonathan Horowitz will provide the play-by-play and Alex Schneiders will provide color commentay.