Women Of Troy Win Exhibition Opener, 73-55

Nov. 12, 2002

LOS ANGELES - The USC women's basketball team kicked off the 2002-03 season with a 73-55 exhibition victory over the Love & Basketball AAU team Tuesday night at the North Gym. The Women of Troy handed Love and Basketball only its second loss of the season.

Despite only utilizing seven players, the Women of Troy eased past the visiting team thanks to a 64.3 percent shooting effort in the first half to enter the break with a 29-point advantage (48-19). For the night, USC shot 43.3 percent from the field and collected 38 rebounds and 12 steals.

After hitting only 7-of-26 shots in the first half (26.9 percent), Love and Basketball shot a much-improved 44.1 percent in the second half to cut the Trojans' lead down to 10 points at 63-53. But the deficit was too much to overcome as the team finished with a 36.7 shooting percentage from the field, 43 rebounds and four steals. Love and Basketball, who beat UCLA on Saturday (Nov. 9) and fell to Stanford on Sunday (Nov. 10), will next face Pepperdine on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The Women of Troy had four players in double figures and were led by junior point guard Tiffany Hicks and sophomore forward Rachel Woodward who added 14 points apiece. Freshman guard Meghan Gnekow led with nine rebounds, while sophomore Jessica Cheeks posted five steals in the outing.

Love and Basketball, who featured former Women of Troy Tashara Carter ('00) and Denise Woods ('00), was led by former Bruin Janae Hubbard (15 points, 7 rebounds) and former Cardinal Charmin Smith (14 rebounds).

Four USC players did not suit up for the game, including Aisha Hollans and Ebony Hoffman served one-game suspensions.

The Women of Troy will open the regular season this Friday, Nov. 15, when they host the first round of the Preseason Women's NIT against Northern Arizona at 7:15 p.m. at the Sports Arena.

-- GO SC --

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