Women Drop Pac-10 Opener On Last-Second Shot

Jan. 4, 2001

Pullman, Wash. -- Despite a 21-point effort from freshman forward Ebony Hoffman, the USC women's basketball team (5-6) suffered a 79-78 loss to Washington State (6-5) thanks to a last-second jumper by Cougar forward Brittany Hawks. The Pac-10 season-opening loss is USC's first since the 1996-97 season when the Women of Troy fell to Washington in Seattle, 69-68, ironically on a last-second shot.

USC shined defensively in the first half, forcing the Cougars to turn the ball over five times in their first eight possessions. Within the first 10 minutes, Washington State committed 12 turnovers and allowed six USC steals. The Trojans led by as many as 10 points in the first half (32-22 at 3:25) but the lead was diminished to four with only seconds left on the clock. Sophomore forward Tennille Grant topped the Women of Troy's advantage with a 20-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to put USC ahead by seven (40-33) at the break.

The game was much closer in the second half as a the Cougs embarked on a 8-2 run six minutes into the game which brought them within one, 54-53, at the 10:45 mark. USC returned to take a nine-point advantage (7:20) but allowed the Cougars to repeat the attack and tie the game, 72-72, at 3:04. WSU took its first lead,75-74, with 2:21 left.

At the one-minute mark, Hoffman grabbed a key offensive rebound and followed with the shot to put the Trojans up by one, 78-77. With a quick steal by freshman guard Aisha Hollans, USC regained possession, but a missed shot gave the Cougs the ball with 0:05 remaining. Washington State inbounded the ball to Hawks who followed with the layin for the win.

Both USC freshmen, Hoffman and Hollans (10 points), tallied double figures for the Women of Troy and led with eight and six rebounds, respectively. Carmen Krause also added six boards. The Trojans won the battle of the boards (46-42) but shot 36.4 percent, making 28-of-77 from the field.

Washington State had three players finish in double digits, Hawks (15), Katie Nyseth (18) and Kelley Berglund (14). The team shot 50 percent (29-58) and finished with 28 turnovers.

The Women of Troy travel to Seattle, Wash., to face the Huskies on Sunday, Jan. 7. The 1 p.m. match-up will be aired live on Fox Sports West 2.

- GO SC -

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