USC Women Travel To Washington This Week
Jan. 10, 2006
HERE AND NOW
The USC women's basketball team sets up for a Washington road trip this week, beginning with a tilt at Washington State at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 12) and followed by a game at Washington at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 14).
RANK AND FILE
USC (10-5, 4-2) is unranked but continues to receive votes in the AP poll. Washington State (6-8, 0-5) is unranked, and Washington (11-3, 4-1) is ranked No. 25 by USA Today/ESPN.
Sophomore guard Símone Jelks is sidelined for 2-6 weeks with a sprained left knee suffered against Oregon State on Dec. 20.
USC tacked up an important Pac-10 sweep last weekend at home, beginning with a 58-50 upset of then-No. 9 Arizona State and ending with a 76-60 win over Arizona. Behind Eshaya Murphy's career-high 22 points and a 13-point effort from Camille LeNoir, USC posted its first win over a top-10 team since 2004 in the victory over ASU, which interrupted a nine-game winning streak by the Sun Devils and snapped a two-game USC losing skid. The win marked the just the second time that USC has held its opponent to 50 or fewer points in a game. Trailing just 29-27 at halftime, the Trojans got a basket from Allison Jaskowiak and a baseline score from Meghan Gnekow to take a 31-29 lead. ASU fought back and took back the lead thanks to three straight post scores. Murphy nailed a pair of free throws to get USC a one-point lead, but the Trojans wouldn't lead again until just under three minutes left in the game. Down 48-44, USC upped its defense and took off on a 12-0 run sparked by a bucket from Murphy and two more by LeNoir that gave USC a lead it would not relinquish. The Trojans tallied free throws the rest of the way and held ASU to just a pair of scores from the line to lock away the win. On Sunday against Arizona, the Trojans fell behind just once, but the hole was extremely shortlived as Murphy nailed a 3-pointer and then finished off a layup to propel USC back ahead for good. Murphy led all scorers with 20 points and dished out a career-high five assists in the win. Gnekow also tallied a career high in assists with six. Nadia Parker scored a career-high 10 points, and Jaskowiak added another 10 to finish as USC's third double-digit scorer of the day. She also tied her career best on the boards with seven rebounds.
WASHINGTON STATE REPORT: The Cougars are 6-8 overall and 0-5 in Pac-10 play after losing two tight games last week, first in a 57-54 loss to Eastern Washington and then falling 73-70 to Washington. WSU went 6-22 last season and finished ninth in the Pac-10 at 2-16. Sherri Murrell is in her fourth season with the Cougars, who return four starters and 10 letterwinners. WSU is led in scoring by Keisha Moore and Charmaine Jones, who are averaginv 10.5 and 10.1 points per game, respectively.
USC-WSU Series Record -- USC is 29-11 all-time against the Cougars and has won the past 10 straight games. Last season the Trojans won 77-75 in overtime at WSU and then won again at home 69-62.
WASHINGTON REPORT -- The Huskies are 11-3 overall and 4-1 in Pac-10 play after beating Washington State 73-70 last week, and are ranked No. 25 by USA Today/ESPN. Washington went 14-16 last season and finished seventh at 9-9 in the Pac-10. Head coach June Daugherty is in her 10th season with the Huskies, who return all five starters and 14 letterwinners. UW is led in scoring by Cameo Hicks with 15.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
USC-WASH Series Record -- USC is is 16-25 all-time against the Huskies after picking up two wins last season. The Trojans beat UW 62-52 on the road and then 73-68 at home in 2004-05.
MURPHY LAYS DOWN THE LAW
Junior guard Eshaya Murphy has led the Women of Troy in scoring eight times so far this season and has hit double figures in nine straight games now -- 12 total. She's now topped out with a career-high 22 points three times -- first against TCU on Dec. 4, again vs. Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 16, and then once more against No. 9 Arizona State on Jan. 6.
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 3.8 assists per game and has scored in double digits in every game but two. In her first start for USC on Dec. 20, she finished with just four points, but dished up a season-high six assists. Since then, she had a career-high 24 against California on Jan. 1 that came along with a career-best five 3-pointers, and hit a pair of jumpers to get USC into the lead against No. 9 Arizona State on Jan. 6 in a 13-point outing.
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.
CAMERON IN CONTROL
Sophomore guard Brynn Cameron hit her stride in USC's Dec. 20 win over Oregon State, getting back to her dangerous ways from the 3-point arc with a career-high six 3-pointers. Cameron nailed three straight in USC's comeback rally in the second half. Her six threes tied her own school record for 3-pointers in a single game and helped her match her career high of 20 points. With 11 3-pointers in the game, USC finished one shy of a program best for team threes in a game.
JASKOWIAK OFF THE PINE AND ON THE RADAR
Allison Jaskowiak is a bench-warmer no more. Stifling defensive pressure and tenacious rebounding have earned the junior guard/forward a starting job in USC's past three Pac-10 games, giving her six starts on the season. She's gone from averaging just 7.7 minutes a game as a sophomore to 23.3 mpg as a junior, doubled her career high scoring to 12 points, scored in nine games and doubled her previous career total rebounds and 3-pointers with 57 boards and six threes so far this season.
PARKER IN THE PAINT
Freshman center Nadia Parker has made a home for herself in the key. She's scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the past three games, setting career marks in rebounds with seven against Cal on Jan. 1 and then topping out with 10 points and a pair of steals against Arizona on Jan. 8.
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 at home 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). The final conference game on USC hardwood is set for Feb. 11 at the Sports Arena. The Trojans are 7-1 at home this season, with their only loss coming to then-No. 4 Ohio State.
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 nine games so far this year. In a 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, Cal State Fullerton and Oregon State, the Women of Troy produced another balanced attack with four double-digit scorers.
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 .526 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 had 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, Chloé 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. 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.
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 commentary.
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