Women's Basketball Upsets No. 12 Florida, 71-68

Nov. 24, 2001

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- With a career-high 29 points from sophomore guard Aisha Hollans, the USC women's basketball team upset No. 12 Florida, 71-68, on Saturday (Nov. 24) in first round competition at the Paradise Jam on the island of St. Thomas. The Women of Troy handed the Gators (2-1) their first loss of the season and improved to 2-2 on the year.

The win is USC's first over a ranked opponent since defeating then-ranked No. No. 20 Oregon, 55-53, on Jan. 25, 2001.

Hollans not only set a new personal record in points with 11-of-24 shooting, but also led with a career-high nine rebounds. Forward Ebony Hoffman finished in double digits with 10 points and point guard Jessica Cheeks led with six assists. As a team, the Women of Troy shot 43.1 percent and out-rebounded the Gators 43 to 26.

Florida had three players score in double figures -- Monique Cardenas (18 points), Vanessa Hayden (15 points) and Brandi McCain (13 points). McCain also set a new tournament record with eight assists. The team shot 40.0 percent from the floor and 56.3 percent at the line.

With a slight lead (11-10) just four minutes into the game, USC embarked on a 11-0 run to go ahead by 12 (22-10). Florida worked its way back to within three at 29-26, but another 9-0 Trojan run (9-0) would put USC up 38-26. Aided by a 16-point first-half effort from Hollans, and taking advantage of the Gators' poor shooting at the line (47.6 percent), the Women of Troy entered the break up 40-33.

Florida began to break down the Trojans' lead in the second half and a jumper by shooting guard Cardenas tied the score at 50 apiece with 11:37 remaining. The teams tied the score twice more before Florida saw its first lead of the game, 58-56 (7:25). But USC quickly responded by scoring on a three-pointer by Cheeks and a three-point play by Hollans which put the Women of Troy up for good. USC managed to hold onto the lead with aggressive defense in the final stretch.

The Trojans will now face Texas -- a 75-70 winner over Wisconsin in the first round -- on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 9 p.m. AST.

- GO SC -

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