USC Women Looking For Two More In Oregon
Jan. 30, 2007
THIS WEEKThe second half of Pac-10 play continues this week as the Women of Troy travel to Oregon in an effort to extend USC's winning streak an improve the Trojans' standing in the Pac-10 standings. USC (13-8, 7-4 Pac-10) first square off at Oregon State (8-11, 3-7) at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 1) and then travel to play at Oregon (11-9, 3-7) at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 3). USC beat the Beavers 59-51 and the Ducks 79-71 in tight contests at home in early January. Live audio and stats will be available online at www.usctrojans.com for both games.
IN THE NATIONThe Women of Troy are unranked in the national polls this week. Both Oregon State and Oregon also are unranked.
LAST WEEKUSC got back in winning mode with two of its biggest Pac-10 wins last week. To start, the Trojans posted a 65-47 win over visiting Washington State, earning head coach Mark Trakh his 250th career victory. Trakh now holds a 250-154 career record, having grabbed his 50th win at USC three games earlier at Arizona. The Women of Troy had three players finish in double figures, led by Shay Murphy's game-high 18 points. Jamie Hagiya was next in line with a career-high 16 points along with six steals, and Allison Jaskowiak had a season-high 10 points. The win marked USC's largest winning margin in Pac-10 play -- until the Trojans clashed with Washington on Sunday. The Cougars' 47 points stands as the fewest points allowed by the Trojans in Pac-10 competition this season. After trailing during the start of the first half, a basket and a 3-pointer from Murphy helped push the Trojans ahead to stay with seven minutes to go in the first half. WSU got to within five during the second half, but again USC pulled away thanks in part to three second-half 3-pointers from Hagiya and a pair from Jaskowiak. USC finished the game shooting 39 percent from the floor, while WSU shot 32 percent in the game. Against Washington, USC came out with a solid gameplan and produced, posting a decisive 78-58 win over the Huskies. The Women of Troy had a season-best 54 percent shooting effort from the floor and went 60 percent from 3-point range to take a lead and never trail in the game. For the second straight game, USC had three seniors finish in double figures, led by 25 points from Murphy for the guard's 46th consecutive game in double digits. Chloé Kerr added 15, and point guard Hagiya put in 12 to help round out USC's balanced attack. After falling 76-60 in Seattle to the Huskies in the first half of Pac-10 play, the Women of Troy returned the favor with an outstanding all-around performance on their home court at the Galen Center to get an important conference win. Hagiya came just one assist short of a double-double, serving up 12 points, nine assists and five steals. USC combined defensive pressure with some long-awaited hot shooting from the floor in the first half to help build a 48-26 halftime lead -- USC's highest scoring first half of the season. USC shot 65.5 percent in the half, getting three 3-pointers from Murphy in the final two minutes of the half to grab that sizeable halftime lead. USC hadn't shot over 50 percent since its first game of the season, a 51 percent effort against Long Beach State. Rebounding also aided the Trojan cause, as USC led on the boards 19-12 to open the game and finished with a 41-35 advantage.
INJURY BUGOut of action: 4 redshirts, 1 injured roster player -- USC will redshirt freshman Jacki Gemelos and junior Camille LeNoir this year in order to allow the two guards to heal from respective injuries. Gemelos suffered a torn ACL in her final high school game, and LeNoir suffered a broken hip during the offseason. Also redshirting the season will be junior Brynn Cameron. Senior Markisha Lea has been sidelined all season with a knee injury and is now tabbed to redshirt. With the return of freshman Aarika Hughes (foot) to the lineup at Arizona (1/18) after sitting out since the beginning of December, freshman Hailey Dunham stands as the only non-redshirting injured player, having sustained a back injury against Stanford on Dec. 20.
WELCOME TO THE CLUBSSenior guard Shay Murphy reached a landmark on USC's first road trip of the season. With a 23-point night at South Dakota State, Murphy hit the 1,000 career point-mark on the money on Nov. 17 -- her 91st career game. She began the season with 956 career points and has now extended her double-digit scoring streak to 46 straight games to now hold 1,357 career points and include herself on a legendary list of Women of Troy who have hit that heralded career mark. She becomes the 20th Trojan to break through the 1,000-point plateau, joining USC greats Cheryl Miller and Lisa Leslie, who had their jerseys retired and hung in the Galen Center on Nov. 10. Her 33-point outing at Colorado on Dec. 2 made her just the 14th Trojan to have scored 30 or more points in a game, with the last such effort coming back in 2002. Murphy broke that barrier for the second time with 30 against Arizona on Jan. 18, becoming just the seventh Trojan to have repeat 30-point outings in a single season. The last player to do so was Tina Thompson in the 1996-97 season.
THE BIG 5-0We're not talking birthday candles, but rather a nice half-century mark of wins for USC head coach Mark Trakh. With the Trojans' 77-68 victory over Arizona on Jan. 18, Trakh recorded his 50th win at USC. His overall record at Troy is now 52-31.
AND THE BIGGER 2-5-0If these were candles, Mark Trakh may still be blowing them out. Instead, he's now free to celebrate hitting the 250 career win mark, having grabbed his 250th victory with USC's 65-47 win over WSU on Jan. 26. Trakh's career collegiate coaching record is now 251-154.
THANKS, COACHWith five 3-pointers in USC's winning home series against Oregon and OSU, senior point guard Jamie Hagiya passed up current USC assistant coach Jody Wynn (then Jody Anton) on USC's all-time 3-point shooting list. Wynn finished her Trojan career with 103 three-pointers. After a trio of threes against Arizona and another at ASU, Hagiya vaulted herself into sole possession of the No. 2 spot all-time, where she now stands alone with with 117 career threes, with fellow senior Shay Murphy holding the No. 1 all-time spot with 166.
HOT-HANDED HAGIYAAs USC's lone healthy scholarship point guard, pressure has been heaped on senior Jamie Hagiya's shoulders. Hagiya has willingly accepted that role, and performed. A proven ball-handler in her four years at Troy, Hagiya has also stepped up her scoring, pumping in double figures in the past eight games. She's averaging 10.1 points per game, and 11.4 in Pac-10 play, and is serving up 4.6 assists per game. USC is 9-3 when Hagiya scores in double figures so far this season, and is 7-1 during her double-digit streak to date.
DOUBLE TIMESenior center Chloé Kerr has joined Murphy in double figures in all but four of USC's 21 games this season. She had scored in double digits in 14 straight games stretching from last season's NCAA Tournament action until a slow night at Washington. Kerr made sure to pick up the pace the following game, however, leading all scorers with 19 points against WSU on Dec. 31, and replicated that effort with a game-high 19 at UCLA on Jan. 13. She also leads the team in blocks with 33.
WALK RIGHT UPUSC guard Nicole Berberet is a junior academically, a freshman eligibility-wise, and on paper may well be the last player opponents would expect to see in a scouting report. But despite not having played competitive basketball since her sophomore year of high school, Berberet made the USC roster as a walk-on this year and earned herself a starting role at point guard on Dec. 29. Appearing in 19 games this year, Berberet has gone from averaging 3.0 minutes per game in USC's first eight games, to averaging 11.5 minutes per game during Pac-10 play. She has nabbed 10 steals and is 2-for-3 from 3-point range.
PARKER'S HOUSESophomore center Nadia Parker had a career weekend at the Women of Troy Classic. After hitting double figures only twice in her freshman season at Troy, Parker posted back-to-back double-digit efforts and led the Trojans in scoring for the first time in her career in both games -- first with a career-high 19 points and seven rebounds against Prairie View A&M, and then with a game-high 16 points against Houston. She's also second on the team in blocks with 14.
MURPHY LAYS DOWN THE LAWLast weekend, Shay Murphy extended her double-digit scoring streak to 46 games -- an accomplishment that carries over from her junior season in which she received Kodak/WBCA All-America honorable mention. She provided team-high scoring (17.6 ppg), rebounding (7.3 rpg), steals (2.4 spg) and 3-pointers made (69) and finished out the year ranked among the top-10 in the Pac-10 in seven categories. This season, she has improved across the board once again. Murphy is the second leading scorer in the Pac-10 (19.1 ppg), No. 1 in rebounding (8.7 rpg), free-throw percentage (.885), 3-pointers made (54, 2.57 pg) and steals (2.57 spg), and is third in offensive rebounds (3.24 pg) . Her free-throw percentage also ranks her No. 13 in the nation, and she is tied at No. 24 in scoring and at No. 25 in 3-pointers per game. Murphy's 2006-07 preseason honors now include: State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason Candidate, John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team, Street & Smith Preseason Honorable Mention, Preseason All-Pac-10 Team. Most recently, Murphy was tabbed a Naismith Trophy Preseason Candidate. She is also a candidate for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award, an honor celebrating a student-athlete's outstanding athletic abilities as well as personality, leadership, perseverance and extracurricular actvities.
FUNN ZONESenior forward Jamie Funn is one of seven seniors on the USC squad. Her junior season was cut short when an offseason hip injury required surgery halfway through the year. Thanks to a broken nose suffered early in the season, Funn donned a face mask for the 16 games she appeared in. She notched nine starts and averaged 5.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She was sidelined for the start of the 2006-07 season, but has now finally returned to the court for the Women of Troy. USC is 6-1 with Funn back in the lineup, and the senior is averaging 6.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game so far. .
SENIOR STRENGTH IN THE PAINTSenior center Chloe Kerr is USC's second leading scorer (12.5 ppg) and second leading rebounder (7.0 rpg) this season. At 6-3, Kerr boasts the height and experience to stand strong as the Trojans' go-to post player. This season, she nailed a career-high 25 points -- including an 11-of-11 effort from the free throw line to rank No. 3 all-time in single-game free throw percentage -- against Nebraska, earning her first career honor as Pac-10 Player of the Week. USC's top blocker this season, Kerr now boasts 127 career blocks, ranking her No. 5 all-time in USC's history books.
L.A. WOMENJunior Camille LeNoir is now one of three USC athletes hailing from nearby Narbonne High School. Senior forward Jamie Funn is the eldest of the trio, with freshman Morghan Medlock rounding out the high school connections on the Trojan roster. Four years ago, the three were teammates on Narbonne's Los Angeles City Section champion team.
HIGHS AND LOWSUSC's winning efforts at the inaugural Women of Troy Basketball Classic saw the Trojans hit some new bests for the 2006-07 season. USC hauled down a season-high 54 rebounds (54) against Prairie View A&M, and then bettered that mark by an additional board the next game against Houston. 55 was USC's best rebounding mark last season as well. On the other end of the spectrum, USC held both teams to season-low scoring marks in the first half. Houston's 11 points in the first half stands as the second lowest scoring mark all-time by a USC opponent in a half.
TOP CLASS -- WITH A PAINFUL TWISTUSC drummed up four standout freshmen to the roster for 2006. Heralded as the top recruiting class in the nation, the foursome of Jacki Gemelos, Aarika Hughes, Hailey Dunham and Morghan Medlock put the finishing touches on Trakh's 2006-07 lineup. However, in a surprising and frustrating turn of events, injuries to three freshmen have left Medlock as the only one in the class to appear in every contest this season. Gemelos -- tabbed the No. 1 recruit in the nation and a McDonald's All-American in her senior year at St. Mary's High School -- suffered a torn ACL at the close of her prep season, and the sharp-shooting guard is redshirting her first season at Troy to fully heal from the setback. Guard Hughes had been sidelined since the end of November with a stress fracture in her foot until returning on Jan. 18, and point guard Dunham sustained a back injury on Dec. 20 against Stanford to become the third member of the 2006 recruiting class to be painfully forced to the USC bench. Both Hughes and Dunham had seen time in the starting lineup until their injuries struck, but still in action for the Trojans is Medlock -- a McDonald's All-American. She has started seven games for the Women of Troy and is averaging 6.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg in her first year at Troy. Against UCLA, Medlock pumped in seven straight points on her way to an 11-point outing for her fourth double-digit game of the season, and hit double figures again with 10 at ASU last week.
GALEN'S GREATNESSAs an overwhelming welcoming gift to the new-and-improved USC team, the Women of Troy kick off their 2006-07 season in a new home. The impressive Galen Center facility offers a plush and state-of-the-art forum for the Women of Troy to build on their tradition of success. Coach Trakh and his troops have 15 home games on the schedule -- not including the 2007 NCAA First and Second Rounds that the Women of Troy plan to be a part of March 17 & 19.
PRESEASON RESPECTThis season, the 2006-07 Trojans were tabbed the No. 22 team in the nation according to the AP and USA Today preseason polls. The Women of Troy also weighed in at No. 15 according to ESPN.com and No. 25 according to Street & Smith. One of five Pac-10 teams to receive a preseason top-25 rank from ESPN.com, the Women of Troy were also tabbed as one of ESPN's 'Three Programs On the Rise.'
RANK AND FILEUSC has five scheduled opponents that were ranked in the final 2005-06 USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. Three of those are Pac-10 foes whom USC sees at least twice this season. The Trojans were 2-7 against ranked teams in 2005-06. The first top-25 team on tap for USC -- which received votes in the final poll -- was No. 10 Ohio State on Nov. 19 in Columbus, Ohio. Two weeks later, USC came up against No. 12 Utah, again on the road, on Dec. 4 in Salt Lake City. The Trojans' next three ranked opponents are Pac-10 teams: No. 7 Stanford, No. 17 Arizona State and No. 18 UCLA. USC lost three times to the Cardinal in 2005-06, split games with the Sun Devils, and swept the Bruins during Pac-10 action.
PAC-10 POWERA record six Pac-10 teams reached the NCAA Tournament in 2006. Five won their first-round games, and three ended the season ranked in the Top 25. Six teams are also ranked in the nation's top 25 this year, and six Pac-10 players received WBCA/Kodak All-America honors last season. Four of those athletes are back for more this year, including USC senior Shay Murphy.
PAC-10 POLLINGThe Women of Troy have been slotted at No. 3 in the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Coaches Poll. The Trojans received 63 points to come in behind top pick and six-time defending conference champ Stanford (81 points) and No. 2 Arizona State (70). Tied up in fourth place with 53 points are California and Washington, with UCLA coming in at No. 6 with 46 points.
STARTING EXPERIENCEUSC used nine different players in its starting lineup rotations last year, and eight of them return this season. This year, Trakh again has utilized nine different starting lineups, with three freshmen having seen at least one start.
FAMILY TREEWhile Allison Jaskowiak was a starter for USC at the 2006 NCAA tournament in Norfolk, Va., her sister Emily Jaskowiak started for Tulsa at the NCAA tournament in Chicago. Both sisters helped lead their schools to the second round. Also, on the same night that USC point guard Camille LeNoir helped lead the Women of Troy to a Pac-10 Tournament win against Washington on March 4 with 17 points and five assists, her younger sister Danielle, a former ball girl at USC, had 10 points and four steals as her Narbonne High School won the Los Angeles City Section championship.
A LOOK BACKUSC is coming off a 2005-06 season where it posted an 11-7 mark in Pac-10 play to finish tied with Washington in fourth place behind Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA. Eight Pac-10 regular-season games were decided by five or fewer points for the Trojans, leaving USC with a 5-3 mark in those tight conference games. After three straight down-to-the-wire games at the close of the regular season, USC pulled out possibly its most crucial win with a tense 70-67 victory over Washington in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. That effort gave the Trojans their 18th win to lock them into the NCAA Tournament.