Women's Basketball Defeats Northern Arizona, 63-55, To Advance

Nov. 15, 2002

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Behind a career-high 18 rebounds from junior Ebony Hoffman, the USC women's basketball team (1-0) defeated Northern Arizona (0-1), 63-55, in its season opener on Friday night at the Sports Arena in front of 1,107. With the win, the Women of Troy advance to the second round of the Preseason WNIT and will face Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. MST. Colorado State defeated San Francisco 76-58 in the first round.

The start of the game was close, but behind the efforts of Rachel Woodward who sparked the team with consecutive layups, the Women of Troy rallied to enter halftime with a 32-20 lead. After the two teams knotted the score at 18 apiece, the Trojans managed to hold the Lumberjacks scoreless for nearly five minutes while they built their 12-point cushion.

USC took its biggest lead of the game in the second half as it went up by as much as 17 (42-25) at 15:43 on a jumper by Hoffman. Despite the Lumberjacks last-minute efforts and three-pointers, the Trojans maintained the advantage to earn the win.

In the first game of the season, USC and Northern Arizona both suffered from turnovers and poor shooting at the line. The two teams posted 24 and 29 turnovers in the game, respectively, while shooting only 42.9 and 58.3 percent from the line. The Trojans shot 40 percent from the field, while the Lumberjacks shot 41.8 percent.

Hoffman collected her first double-double of the season (she had 12 in 2002) with 18 rebounds and 14 points. Woodward led the team in scoring with 15 points and junior Jessica Cheeks followed closely with 13. NAU was led by guard Lacey Tolbert who contributed 14 points, four steals and six rebounds.

-- GO SC --

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