Beavers Edge Women Of Troy In Pac-10 Opener

Dec. 27, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- In true USC-Oregon State fashion, the first Pac-10 women's basketball match-up of the 2003 season between these two teams came down to the wire as the Beavers walked away with a 63-61 victory over the visiting Women of Troy on Friday night in front of 752 at Gill Coliseum. Last season, all three games between USC and Oregon State were decided by a total of seven points.

With the loss, the Trojans fall to 5-6 this season and start the conference season 0-1. The Beavers improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in Pac-10 play.

Fueled by the three-point shooting of Rometra Craig and a series of layups by guard Aisha Hollans, the Women of Troy started hot, hitting their first 5-of-7 shots and building a 10-point lead, 16-6, at 14:27. But after holding the Beavers to only 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the half, USC began to turn the ball over thanks to fouls and poor passing, allowing Oregon State to climb its way back into the game.

The Trojans were held without a field goal for nearly six minutes and Oregon State managed to knot the score at 26-26 at the 2:55 mark. As time ran down, OSU matched USC point-for-point and took a 33-32 lead into the break.

Both teams had trouble finding the basket for most of the second half. OSU held on to its halftime advantage and led by as many as five, 43-38, at the 13-minute mark. The Trojans managed to stay in the game and tied the score 47-47 at 7:43, then took their first lead of the half at 3:44 when Hollans made a layup and two free throws on the ensuing possession for a 54-52 USC lead.

The game was far from over as the two teams alternated with the lead nine times in the remaining minutes. Oregon State gained momentum when guard Juleen Smith, who had not played in four games, checked in and hit a three-pointer and a couple free throws to put the Beavers ahead, 56-54. Trailing by two, 63-61, with 0:23 left on the clock, USC had possession of the ball but was unable to convert three shot attempts as time ran down and the Beavers sealed the victory.

Hollans led three Trojans in double figures with 20 points in the game. Craig and Ebony Hoffman added 13 points apiece. Hoffman led with nine rebounds.

The Women of Troy return to action this Sunday, Dec. 29, when they travel to Eugene to face Oregon at 1 p.m.

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