No. 25 USC Women Take On Cal State Fullerton

Dec. 13, 2005

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The USC women's basketball team hosts its final nonconference regular-season game at the Sports Arena this week when Cal State Fullerton comes to town for a 5 p.m. game on Friday (Dec. 16). The game also will be available to listen to online at The game is part of a double-header with the USC men, who face Western Michigan at 7:30 p.m.

USC (5-3) is tied at No. 25 in this week's USA Today/ESPN Poll, and received votes in the AP poll this week. Cal State Fullerton (1-7) is unranked.

USC finished off a four-game week by bumping up to a 5-3 overall record. The Women of Troy held a three-game winning streak before finishing off the busy stretch with a hard-fought loss to No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday. The Trojans followed up last Sunday's win over TCU with a short trip to Loyola Marymount on Dec. 6, where USC pocketed at 59-53 win behind 13-point efforts from Jamie Hagiya and Camille LeNoir. The Trojans nailed eight 3-pointers in the victory and had to overcome slow starts in both halves in order to lock away the win. Jamie Funn finished the game with her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds on the night. On Dec. 9, USC pinned up its third straight win and set some new season records with its dominating 97-69 win over Cal State Northridge. The Women of Troy posted its most productive scoring output of the year with a .451 shooting percentage, 11 three-pointers and an .857 free-throw effort. The Trojans had six different players finish in double digits, and all 10 players who hit the floor scored in the victory. USC was led in scoring by Eshaya Murphy for the fourth time this season with 20 points and Jamie Hagiya had a career night with 16 points and seven steals. WIth just eight turnovers against CSUN, the Trojans tied the No. 4 mark all-time for the fewest turnovers in program history. Two days later, USC was up against its second ranked opponent of the year in No. 4 Ohio State and pulled even twice in the second half, but was unable to overpower the Buckeyes, falling 68-57. Camille LeNoir continued her double-digit scoring trend to lead the Women of Troy with a season-high 15 points, and Eshaya Murphy added 14 for USC. USC tied it at 42-42 in the seond half when Brynn Cameron drilled her 77th career 3-pointer to move up to No. 6 all-time on the career 3-point charts at USC, just steps ahead of teammate Gnekow at No. 78 with 74 career threes. But Ohio State went on an 8-0 to get back into control on the way to the win.

USC's starting junior point guard Jamie Hagiya went from season highs to career highs in a span of two games when she first nailed a season-best 13 points and three 3-pointers against LMU, and then upped the ante with four 3-pointers on her way to a career-high 16 points and grabbed a career-best seven steals against Cal State Northridge.

Junior guard Eshaya Murphy has led the Women of Troy in scoring four times so far this season. She's hit double digits for the Trojans in seven of eight games, topping out with a career-high 22 against TCU on Dec. 4.

Sophomore point guard Camille LeNoir has been a key part of the balanced attack for the Women of Troy. She's been USC's top distrubutor with 4.0 assists per game, but also has been a consistent scorer as the only Trojans to hit double figures in every game this season.

The home courts at Troy (Sports Arena and Lyon Center) largely have been a secure place for the Women of Troy. Only two teams got the best of the Trojans on their home floor last season, and the 2005-06 ride will mark the final season before the opening of the new, highly anticipated 10,258-seat Galen Center (set to open for the 2006-07 season). This season's Pac-10 schedule opens up at the Lyon Center and the final 2005-06 conference game on USC hardwood is set for Feb. 11 at the Sports Arena.

For the first time since the 2002-03 season, USC jumped out to a 2-0 start with a pair of wins at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic. The Trojans had split in their first two games for the previous two seasons. After their opening win against Hawai'i, the Women of Troy now improve to 24-5 all-time in their season openers and 17-10 in opening road games.

The USC women's basketball team has had at least three players score in double figures in five games so far this year. In Friday's dominating win over Cal State Northridge, six players nailed double digits and all 10 players who hit the court scored in the game. At the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic, four players hit double digits in both games. Chloé Kerr, Eshaya Murphy and Camille LeNoir all hit double digits twice, as the Trojans had eight and seven different scorers, respectively, emerge against Hawai'i and Eastern Illinois. Against Notre Dame, the Women of Troy produced another balanced attack with Kerr, Murphy, LeNoir and Jamie Hagiya all scoring in double digits in the hard-fought loss to the then-No. 13 Fighting Irish. And in Tuesday's win over LMU, LeNoir and Hagiya were joined by Jamie Funn, who also pinned up her first double-double of the season.

USC rang up a hefty number of rebounds on Nov. 20 against Eastern Illinois. The Women of Troy hit the boards and ripped down 52 total rebounds, including 27 offensive rebounds. That mark bettered last season's top offensive boards mark of 26, set on Feb. 12, 2005 against Arizona. The Trojans last tallied 52 total rebounds also against Arizona last season on March 5.

Last season's 20-11 overall record, second-place finish in the Pac-10 and second-round NCAA Tournament appearance -- coupled with a daunting 10 returners back -- translated into several preseason rankings for the Women of Troy. In 2004-05, the Trojans were one of five Pac-10 teams to reach the NCAA Tournament and win at least one game. This season, USC has been picked to finish No. 2 behind No. 1 Stanford in the Pac-10 Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the Pac-10 Media Poll behind UCLA. In the larger 2005-06 scene, USC also was chosen among the elite top 25 teams in the nation, selected at No. 22 standing in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Poll and a No. 24 slot in the Associated Press Top 25 Women's Basketball Poll. The Women of Troy join five other Pac-10 schools in the national preseason polls. In the Athlon preseason poll, USC picked up its highest ranking at No. 16, while Lindy's has the 2005-06 Trojans at No. 21.

This season marks the final stint for the USC women and men in the Lyon Center and Sports Arena, as the Trojans eagerly await the completion of the highly anticipated Galen Center. The Galen is set to be the new home for basketball and volleyball for the 2006-07 season. All systems are go over at the new site, with construction in its final stages for the impressive facility. The structure is located on the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa, and will contain a 255,000 square-foot arena capable of seating 10,258 fans. Locker rooms, practice courts, offices and more will also find shelter within the Galen Center walls.

USC returns 10 players from last season to this year's roster, and has added to it one highly regarded recruit, one walk-on player and a complete coaching staff with their first season at Troy tucked solidly under their belts. All told, almost 80 percent of the Trojans' scoring production returns to the court for the 2005-06 campaign. Leading the way are a pair of sophomore guards -- Camille LeNoir and Brynn Cameron -- who started as freshmen and emerged as the Trojans' top two scorers. The pair accounted for 18.5 points per game last season. Even mightier as a group is this year's junior class of six -- comprised of Jamie Hagiya, Jamie Funn, Eshaya Murphy, Chloe Kerr, Allison Jaskowiak and Markisha Lea. That group averaged a combined 27.1 ppg, 17.2 rpg, 6.16 apg and 5.0 spg last season as sophomores, and all six are set to hit the court in 2005-06 as well. Now the lone senior on the squad, Meghan Gnekow brings back her experience and adept skills on the boards as the team's leading rebounder (5.8 rpg last season) and defensive stopper.

Four Opponents Ranked In Top 25
USC's schedule features four opponents ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 preseason polls, including No. 4 Ohio State (Dec. 11), No. 11/10 Stanford (Dec. 30 and Jan. 29), No. 15 Notre Dame (Nov. 27), and No. 20/18 Arizona State (Jan. 6 and Feb. 2). UCLA, TCU, Oregon and Arizona also all received votes in the polls.

• USC junior Jamie Funn and sophomore Camille LeNoir both went to the same Los Angeles high school (Narbonne HS) as Cal State Fullerton senior forward Amber Pruitt.

Women's Basketball On LA Airwaves
KMPC-AM 1540 -- USC's flagship station -- is airing six Women of Troy basketball games this season, beginning with USC's home opener against TCU on Dec. 4. Pete Arbogast, the voice of Trojan football, will provide play-by-play, and former Trojan women's basketball standout Denise Woods ('00) will provide color commentary for the following games: Dec. 4 vs. TCU; Jan. 6 vs. Arizona State; Jan. 21 vs. UCLA; Jan. 27 vs. California, Jan. 29 vs. Stanford; and Feb. 18 vs. UCLA.

This season's team captains are senior Meghan Gnekow and juniors Chloé Kerr and Allison Jaskowiak.

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