Depleted Lineup Leads to 78-74 Loss For USC Women

Jan. 17, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- The Arizona women's basketball team withstood an 11-0 USC run in the final four minutes of the game to defeat the Women of Troy, 74-78, Thursday night at the Sports Arena in front of 561. With the loss, the Trojans fall to 5-3 in the Pac-10 and 9-8 overall. The Wildcats improve to 4-4 in the Pac-10, 8-9 overall.

The Trojans played without starting forward Ebony Hoffman and starting guards Tiffany Elmore and Aisha Hollans. Elmore is still recovering from a sprained ankle she suffered on Jan. 6, while Hoffman (ejection at UCLA) and Hollans (violation of team rules) were serving one-game suspensions.

USC jumped out to a quick 13-4 lead in the first half, led by freshman Rachel Woodward and sophomore Jessica Cheeks. However, Trojan turnovers allowed Arizona to creep back into the game and tie the score at 20-20 with less than six minutes remaining. The Women of Troy were outscored 16-9 in the final five minutes and entered the break down by seven, 36-29.

In the second half USC's Carmen Krause, who finished the game with a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds for her first-ever double-double, hit three consecutive shots to close the gap to 36-35. The Wildcats kept their composure and enjoyed double-digit scoring from five different players to gain a 71-55 advantage with 6:04 left on the clock. But behind Woodward, who also enjoyed a career-high 21-points and 10 rebounds, the Women of Troy remained calm and embarked on an 11-0 run of their own. Arizona's Aimee Grzyb and Lakeisha Taylor hit key free throws down the stretch and the Wildcats kept the Trojans from scoring in the last possession to win the game.

USC also got career-best performances from junior Lauren Smith-Hams (11 points, 3-of-7 3FG) and freshman Kim Gipson (12 points, 6 rebounds). The Wildcats were led by Grzyb (15 points) and freshman Elizabeth Pickney, who had 14 points and 11 boards.

The Women of Troy return to the Sports Arena on Saturday to take on No. 23-ranked Arizona State. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

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