Women's Basketball Returns Home To Host BYU

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Nov. 27, 2001

This Week
Thursday, Nov. 29
vs. BYU at 7 p.m. (Sports Arena)

Listen live on www.usctrojan.com.

The Facts
After playing five games in 10 days to start the season, including four on the road, the USC women's basketball team (2-3) returns home to host BYU on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Sports Arena. Last week, the Women of Troy garnered their first victory of the season with an 87-39 home win over Morgan State (Nov. 21), then split two games at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, V.I., with a 71-68 upset victory over No. 12 Florida (Nov. 24) and a narrow 66-64 loss to Texas (Nov. 25). The Trojans finished second in the two-day tournament and Aisha Hollans and Ebony Hoffman each were named to the all-tournament team.

Previous Game Results
vs. Morgan State
- Aisha Hollans scored 19 points on Nov. 21 to lead USC in an 87-39 win against Morgan State. It was the largest margin of victory for the Women of Troy since a 91-44 win on Jan. 21, 1995, against Arizona State. All five Trojan starters scored in double figures. Center Portia Mitchell made her first career start, recording a personal-best 10 points, while Jessica Cheeks added 15 points and Ebony Hoffman contributed 13 points and nine rebounds. Morgan State trailed by only nine points halfway through the first half as USC led, 20-11, before Hollans scored eight of her 16 first-half points to give the Women of Troy a 38-20 lead at the break. Returning to the court, the Trojans pushed the tempo and opened with a 15-0 run. The Women of Troy shot 51 percent (20-for-39) in the half and finished the game shooting 47 percent from the floor.

vs. No. 12 Florida - Thanks to a career-high 29 points from Aisha Hollans, the Women of Troy upset No. 12 Florida, 71-68, in first-round competition at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, V.I., on Nov. 24. USC handed the Gators their first loss of the season. With a slight lead just four minutes into the game (11-10), USC embarked on an 11-0 run to go ahead by 12 (22-10). Florida worked its way back within in three at 29-26, but another 9-0 Trojan run put USC up 38-26. The Trojans entered halftime ahead 40-33. Florida began to break down the Trojans' lead in the second half and tied the score at 50-50 with 11:37 remaining. The teams tied the score twice more before the Gators earned their first lead of the game, 58-56 (7:25). But USC quickly responded by scoring on a three-pointer by Jessica Cheeks and a three-point play by Hollans to put the Trojans up for good.

vs. Texas - In a game that came down to the final seconds, USC fell to Texas, 66-64, in the championship of the Paradise Jam. Despite a tough USC defense which forced four Texas turnovers in the first few minutes, the Trojans found themselves behind 27-17 at the 6:55 mark. USC went without a field goal for the next five minutes but hit a series of free throws to stay in the game. The Women of Troy entered the break down by four, 35-31. Texas increased its lead to 13 (56-43) in the second half thanks to a 17-6 run. USC then answered with a 13-2 run of its own and with 3:06 remaining, the Women of Troy took their first lead, 59-58, on a free throw by Ebony Hoffman. The two teams began to alternate the lead and the game came down to the final seconds as Texas' Kenya Larkin hit 1-of-2 at the line to keep the Trojans down by two. USC inbounded the ball with :08 remaining but was unable to hit a shot in two attempts. Hoffman, Hollans and Cheeks led with 18, 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Hollans and Hoffman Named To All-Tournament Team
Aisha Hollans and Ebony Hoffman earned their first honors of the season by being named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team. Hollans nearly single-handedly guided the Trojans to an upset victory over No. 12 Florida with a 11-of-24 shooting effort, career-high 29 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. She followed the next night with 14 points and three assists against Texas. After a quiet game against the Gators, Hoffman stood out against Texas with a team-high 18 points.

Women of Troy Receiving Votes
With its upset win over Florida, the Women of Troy are once again receiving votes in the polls. USC has been recognized by the Associated Press (16 votes for 39th place) and the ESPN/USA Today (19 votes, 41st place tie) polls.

Against Ranked Opponents
Before the Florida match-up, the last time USC defeated a ranked opponent was last season when the Trojans beat then-No. 20 Oregon, 55-53, on Jan. 25, 2001. Following are this season's results against Top 25 teams:

Nov. 18	at No. 2 Tennessee	Knoxville, Tenn.	L, 106-66
Nov. 24 vs. No. 12 Florida Paradise Jam - V.I. W, 71-68

Injury Report
Senior Tiffany Elmore returned to the court against Florida (Nov. 24) after sitting out for two games due to a mild neck sprained she sustained against Saint Joseph's (Nov. 16) with 15:31 remaining in the second half. She resumed her starting role against Texas on Nov. 25.

An Exhausting Start For the Women of Troy
Life on the road is not easy, just ask the Trojans. To start the 2002 season, USC played five games in only 10 days - four of the five were on the road and two of five were against ranked opponents (No. 2 Tennessee and No. 12 Florida). Not only that, the Trojans have changed time zones three times, boarded nine different flights and only spent 59 hours at home. The difficult life on the road is not over for the Women of Troy. After a couple games at home, USC takes on another challenge when it faces 2001 NCAA champion Notre Dame on Dec. 9 in South Bend, Ind.

Morgan State Win Reduced To A Statistic
The 39 points scored by Morgan State were the seventh fewest ever allowed by USC... The 87-39 final score marked the largest margin of victory (49 points) since USC defeated Cal State Northridge, 95-31 (64 points), on Dec. 7, 1993... Morgan State posted the second-fewest field goals (12) an opponent has ever recorded against USC... The Lady Bears 25.3 percent shooting rank the fourth lowest for a USC opponent.

ReeCee Finding Her Shot
Aisha Hollans -- who goes by the nickname of 'ReeCee' -- has led the team in scoring in 4-of-5 games this season and has continued to get better with each performance. She began the season with 21 points (8-18) against Saint Joseph's (Nov. 16), then surpassed her career record with 26 points (9-24) against Tennesee (Nov. 18). After an improved 50.0 percent shooting effort at home against Morgan State (Nov. 21) for 19 points, she outdid herself again by posting a new career high of 29 points against Florida (Nov. 24) on 11-of-24 shooting.

Gobrecht Collects 50th Win At USC
Head coach Chris Gobrecht posted her 50th win at USC when the Trojans defeated No. 12 Florida on Nov. 24. To date, the fifth-year Women of Troy head coach owns a 50-67 overall record at USC.

Players Surpassing Career Highs Night After Night
In only the first three games of the season, USC players have already started outdoing their personal career records:
Against Saint Joseph's: Jessica Cheeks surpassed a career high by collecting seven assists (previous record - 6) against SJU and tied a career high by grabbing seven rebounds and hitting 1-of-1 three pointers (1.000)... Ebony Hoffman set a career high with three, 3-pointers (previous record - 1) and tied a personal best with 16 field goal attempts and three, 3-point field goal attempts... Aisha Hollans set new records with 18 field goal attempts (previous record - 17) and 10, 3-point field goal attempts (previous record - 7), while tying her record with three, 3-pointers made.
Against No. 2 Tennessee: Aisha Hollans broke the record she set for field goal attempts against Saint Joseph's with 24 against the Vols and set new personal records with eight free throws made (previous record - 6) and free throw attempts with nine (previous record - 7) ... Portia Mitchell surpassed her career-best mark with three blocks (previous record - 1).
Against Morgan State: Aisha Hollans collected a career high five assists (previous record - 3)... Carmen Krause tied a career high with nine rebounds... Portia Mitchell set new career highs with four field goals made (previous record - 1), 10 total points (previous record - 4), 17 minutes played (previous record - 16) and equalled a personal best with seven field goals attempted.
Against No. 12 Florida: Aisha Hollans once again surpassed her career mark with 29 points (previous record - 26 vs. Tennessee)... Ryane Alexander posted her first career block.
Against Texas: Jessica Cheeks tied a career-high with four steals ... Portia Mitchell set a new career highs for rebounds with seven, and tied her personal record with three blocked shots (previous record - 4).

Pac-10 Coaches Pick USC To Finish Third, Media Picks USC Fourth
With nine votes, Stanford has been tabbed by the Pac-10 women's basketball coaches as the team to beat in 2002. Washington was voted to finish second, with the Women of Troy receiving the remaining first-place vote and selected to finish third. The predicted finish of the remaining schools according to the coaches is: 4. Arizona State, 5(tie), Arizona and Oregon, 7. Oregon State, 8(tie), Cal and UCLA, 10. Washington State.

In the media poll, Stanford was again selected to win the conference title, with Arizona State second, Washington third, USC fourth, Oregon fifth, Arizona sixth, Oregon State seventh, UCLA eighth, Cal ninth and Washington State 10th.

Ebony Hoffman was tabbed a preseason All-Pac-10 selection by the women's basketball media.

Roster Addition
As of Oct. 22, the Women of Troy have added a new player to the 2002 roster. Ashley Conrad, a 5-9 redshirt freshman walk-on from Santa Catalina High in Carmel Valley, Calif., will add greater depth to the guard position. Conrad was a four-year letterwinner at Santa Catalina and averaged 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and five assists as a senior. She was a three-time All-Mission Trail Athletic League (CCS) selection (as a sophomore, junior and senior) and was named to the all-county team as a junior and senior. Conrad will wear the No. 5.

Head Coach Chris Gobrecht
Chris Gobrecht enters her fifth season at the helm of the USC women's basketball program. Replacing former head coach Fred Williams on May 8, 1997, Gobrecht returned to her alma mater to help guide the Women of Troy back to national prominence. Throughout 22 years of head coaching experience, Gobrecht has amassed a 382-270 (.586) career record with her programs at Cal State Fullerton (six years), Washington (11), Florida State (one) and USC. During her 11-year tenure at Washington, she was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1987 and 1988). Gobrecht remains the second-winningest coach in conference history with a 160-92 (.635) mark and she ranks 34th among active Division I coaches with 382 career victories.

Opponent Notes

BYU (2-1) -- Under the leadership of first-year head coach Jeff Judkins, BYU returns eight letterwinners, including four starters, from the 2001 team which finished 19-13 overall and 8-6 in the Mountain West Conference (tied for third place). Last year's Cougars advanced to the second round of the WNIT. BYU's top returners include guard Erin Thorn (15.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 2001), guard Stacy Jensen (9.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg), forward Lisa Osguthorpe (6.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and forward Chanelle Rose (6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg). So far this season, the Cougars have posted a 2-1 record with wins over Boise State, 85-72, and Washington State, 94-67, and a loss to Texas, 90-74. Thorn leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 24.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. The team has three players averaging double figures - Thorn, Osguthorpe (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Jensen (10.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg). BYU will face UCLA on Tuesday, Nov. 27, before traveling to USC.

USC-BYU Series Record -- BYU and USC met four times in the early '80s with USC winning all four meetings. The last was on Dec. 3, 1987, when the Trojans defeated the Cougars, 93-83, in Provo, Utah.

BYU Probable Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. ppg rpg apg spg

31 Lisa Osguthorpe F 6-0 11.0 4.3 3.3 0.3
23 Chanell Rose F 6-0 5.0 2.3 0.3 0.3
51 Danielle Chessman C 6-2 8.7 2.7 1.3 1.0
11 Erin Thorne G 5-10 24.3 5.0 3.7 2.7
22 Stacy Jensen G 5-6 10.3 4.0 6.7 1.3

Player Profiles

#3 Tiffany Elmore (Guard * Senior)
Tiffany Elmore begins her senior season with the Women of Troy... A player who brings life to the team both on and off the court... A talented and athletic player who will be looked upon to make great contributions in her final season... A returning starter on the perimeter and two-time All-Pac-10 selection (honorable mention 1999 and 2000).
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): started, 4 points (1-5), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals... vs. Florida (11/24): 4 points (2-6), 7 rebounds, 2 steals... vs. Morgan St (11/21): DNP (injury)... at Tenn (11/18): DNP (injury)... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, 11 points (4-8), 2 rebounds, suffered a neck sprain at 15:31 in the second half and was forced to leave the game.

#5 Ashley Conrad (Guard * Freshman)
Ashley Conrad begins her first season with the Women of Troy as a redshirt freshman... Enrolled at USC in the spring of 2001 and was named to the Dean's List ... A walk-on who will add depth at the guard position.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): DNP... at Tenn (11/18): DNP... at St. Joe's (11/16): DNP.

#10 Jessica Cheeks (Guard * Sophomore)
Jessica Cheeks begins her second season with the Women of Troy... Was moved into the point guard position last season... Became a great asset for the team to have her size and agility at the point... A returning starter.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): started, 11 points (4-10), 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 steals... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 8 points (2-4), 3 rebounds... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 15 points (6-13), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals... at Tenn (11/18): started, 5 points (2-9), 1 rebound, 3 steals, led with 4 assists... vs. St. Joe's (11/16): started, 12 points (3-7), collected a career high 7 rebounds and 7 assists, 3 steals.

#14 Carmen Krause (Forward * Senior)
Carmen Krause returns for her senior season with the Women of Troy... An important inspirational leader who motivates the team with the same heart she plays with... An outstanding defender who will be relied upon for her toughness in the post.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): started, 5 points (1-3), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 6 points (2-5), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1steal... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 6 points (2-6), 1 assist, led with 9 rebounds... at Tenn (11/18): 5 points (1-6), 5 rebounds, 2 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, fouled out with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal.

#15 Lauren Smith-Hams (Guard * Junior)
Lauren Smith-Hams begins her junior season with the Women of Troy... Was quieter off the bench as a sophomore, but maintained a strong level of defense... A significant scoring threat who will fight for her position on the court.
This Season:

vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 1 rebound, 2 assists... at Tenn (11/18): 1 assist... at St. Joe's (11/16): 2 points (1-3), 2 assists.

#21 Erin Young (Guard/Forward * Junior)
Erin Young enters her junior season with the Women of Troy as a walk-on guard... Her shooting abilities are crucial to the team... Looks to become more explosive after a quiet sophomore year.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): DNP... vs. Florida (11/24): DNP... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 4 points (2-4), 2 rebounds, 1 assist... at Tenn (11/18): 3 points (1-4), 1 steal... at St. Joe's (11/16): played 1 minute.

#23 Aisha Hollans (Guard * Sophomore)
Aisha Hollans begins her second season with the Women of Troy... One of the most gifted guards in the conference who had a difficult time last season while recovering from an early season injury... An important player to have on the court at all times... A returning starter on the perimeter and returning All-Pac-10 selection (freshman honorable mention).
This Season:
Named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team... vs. Texas (11/25): started, 14 points (5-14), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): started, led with a career high 29 points (11-24) and nine rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist ... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, led with 19 points (7-14), collected a career-high five assists, had 6 rebounds, 1 steal... at Tenn (11/18): started, tied a career-high with 26 points (9-24) and surpassed career-highs with 8 free throws made, 9 free throw attempts and 24 field goal attempts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, led with 21 points (8-18), hit 3-of-10 three-pointers, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block.

#24 Ryane Alexander (Guard * Sophomore)
Ryane Alexander begins her second season with the Women of Troy... Proven to be a hard-nosed player with great intensity and toughness... Possesses a great sense of commitment to running the offense... Looks to develop consistency with experience.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): started, 14 points (5-14), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block... vs. Florida (11/24): 1 assist, first career block... vs. Morgan St (11/21): 5 points (1-4), 3 rebounds, 1 assist... at St. Joe's (11/16): 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 rebound.

#32 Ebony Hoffman (Forward * Sophomore)
Ebony Hoffman enters her second season with the Women of Troy... One of the most dominating post players in the conference who had an outstanding freshman campaign... Underwent shoulder surgery this March and looks to be a healthier and more experienced player this season... A returning starter in the post who earned All-Pac-10 (honorable mention) and a Freshman All-American (WBJ and Basketball Times) honors last season.
This Season:
Named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team... vs. Texas (11/25): started, led with 18 points (7-9), 4 rebounds, 1 assist... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 10 points (4-10), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 steals... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 13 points (4-9), led with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals... at Tenn (11/18): started, 2 points (0-5), 3 rebounds, 3 steals, fouled out... at St. Joe's (11/16): collected 16 of 17 total points (6-16) in second half, hit career-high 3 (3-5) three-pointers, led with 10 rebounds, 2 steals.

#33 Rachel Woodward (Forward * Freshman)
Rachel Woodward enters her first season with the Women of Troy... A talented passer who runs the floor well... She can catch, pass and finish on the move... Will work well in transition without having to compromise her strong rebounding skills... Brings great size to the forward position.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): 6 points (1-3), 4 rebounds... vs. Florida (11/24): started, 8 points (4-9), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block... vs. Morgan St (11/21): started, 11 points (5-8), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block... at Tenn (11/18): started, 16 points (7-14), led with 7 rebounds and 5 steals... at St. Joe's (11/16): started, 5 points (2-6), 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal.

#35 Portia Mitchell (Center * RS Sophomore)
Portia Mitchell begins her redshirt sophomore year at USC... Her continued development will make a strong impact on the team... A player with good skills and great size... Continues to mature as a hard-working, responsible player.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): 4 points (2-4), career-high 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal... vs. Florida (11/24): 2 points (1-3), 4 rebounds...vs. Morgan St (11/21): made first career start, career high 10 points (4-7) and 17 minutes played, 2 rebounds... at Tenn (11/18): set a career-high with 3 blocks, tied a career-high with 4 points (1-5), also had 3 rebounds, 1 assist, fouled out... at St. Joe's (11/16): played 2 minutes.

#44 Kim Gipson (Center * Freshman)
Kim Gipson begins her first season with the Women of Troy... A terrific, big-time physical player who will excel as her skills and understanding of the game improve... An exceptional and bright athlete whose natural skills will bring her much success... She possesses the type of demeanor a coach always wants on the floor.
This Season:
vs. Texas (11/25): played 4 minutes... vs. Florida (11/24): 4 points (2-3), 2 rebounds...vs. Morgan St (11/21): 4 points (2-5), led with 9 rebounds, 1 steal... at Tenn (11/18): started, 2 points (1-1), 5 rebounds... at St. Joe's (11/16): 4 points (1-6), 3 rebounds.

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