USC Women Defeat UCLA, 64-51, To Open Pac-10 Play

Dec. 28, 2003

LOS ANGELES - Thanks to 17-point scoring efforts from both Ebony Hoffman and Jessica Cheeks, the USC women's basketball team defeated UCLA, 64-51, to open the conference season on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Arena. The win also gives the Women of Troy the first five of 10 points towards the Lexus Gauntlet.

In front of 2,106, USC (4-5) quickly took a 12-4 lead with Cheeks scoring the Trojans' first three-of-five field goals. At the 10-minutes mark, UCLA (4-5) had managed to score only 10 points and trailed 18-10.

The Women of Troy outscored the Bruins 13-to-10 to enter the break with a 31-20 advantage.

After a slow start to the second half, in which both teams only scored four points in the first five minutes, UCLA began to close the gap. Down 35-22, the Bruins used a 12-2 run to come within three points, 37-34, and then came within one point, 41-40, two minutes later on a layup by guard Nikki Blue.

Blue led the Bruins with 14 points in the game.

Despite UCLA's efforts, the Women of Troy never surrendered their lead and pulled ahead by as much as 10 points thanks to a string of three-pointers by Hoffman and Cheeks. USC claimed the final 13-point victory, 64-51, by hitting seven-of-nine free throws down the stretch.

Neither team had an outstanding offensive performance, with USC shooting 35.4 percent from the field and UCLA shooting 32.1 percent.

Hoffman collected her third double-double of the season with 11 rebounds to go along with 17 points.

The Women of Troy hit the road this week to continue Pac-10 play at Oregon and Oregon State. USC will face the Ducks on Friday, Jan. 2, then travel to Corvallis to face the Beavers on Sunday, Jan. 4. The USC-Oregon State game will be broadcast on Fox Sports West.

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