Hoffman, USC Too Much for Women's Basketball as Ducks Fall 83-73

Dec. 22, 2001

LOS ANGELES - Despite a season-high 29 points by Shaquala Williams, the University of Oregon women's basketball team lost 83-73 to USCbefore 802 fans Saturday at the Sports Arena.

USC sophomore center Ebony Hoffman was a force in the middle, pouring in 27 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. She helped the Trojans (6-5, 2-0 Pac-10) to a 43-25 rebounding advantage over the Ducks (6-5, 1-1).

'When you talk about second-chance efforts and rebounding, USC deserved to win,' first-year Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'We were outhustled in the first half, but we responded better in the second half.'

Oregon enjoyed its only lead at 9-6 about four minutes into the game, but USC rebounded with a 13-2 run as Aisha Hollans' scored five of her 21 points during that stretch.

The Ducks, who were down by as many as 12 points late in the first half, hung tough with the Trojans after halftime. Sparked by a pressuring half-court defense, Oregon went on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 56 apiece with 8:33 left. USC used a 12-0 run, however, to go up 68-56 with 5:40 on the clock-a defecit in which Oregon couldn't recover.

'That's our big problem is our consistency for 40 minutes, 'Smith said.

Hoffman hit 7-of-11 from the field and 13-of-16 from the foul line as well as grabbed five offensive rebounds.

'(Hoffman) did very well for them,' Smith said. 'We could've been more aggressive in double-teaming her.'

The Ducks played the entire first half without starting senior guard Edniesha Curry, who suffered an injury in her left foot during pregame warm-ups. Curry started the second half, hitting a 3-pointer in the opening minute, but finished with just six points-nearly seven below her average-in 10 minutes on the floor.

'She did as best she could,' said Smith of Curry, whose status is undetermined. 'Despite her absence, I think we could've had a better outcome tonight.'

Williams, the conference's player of the year two seasons ago, carried the offensive load by making 11-of-21 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and 5-of-5 on free throws. She also led the Ducks with five assists and three steals.

Alyssa Fredrick also played well for Oregon as her 19 points was her best total in a Ducks uniform. She made 7-of-11 from the floor and had a team-best six rebounds.

The Ducks have lost at least once on the UCLA-USC road trip each year since Pac-10 women's basketball began in 1986-87.

Oregon returns home for four consecutive games at McArthur Court. The Ducks first play host Friday to Washington at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Oregon will take on Washington State at 1 p.m.

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