USC Takes Another Trip to NCAA Action
March 13, 2006
The USC women's basketball team is making back-to-back appearances at the NCAA Tournament with this year's No. 8 seed into Bridgeport Regional. The Women of Troy bring an 18-11 overall record into the 2006 tourney after finishing tied for fourth in the Pac-10 regular season, and then reaching the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. The Trojans will open their 2006 NCAA Tournament run with a first-round matchup against No. 9 seed South Florida (19-11) in Norfolk, Va.
'I'm really happy and proud that we earned an eight seed,' said USC head coach Mark Trakh, who also took the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 -- his first year at Troy. 'The team is really excited. With all the injuries and where we've been, it's a real testament to the kids. I think it shows a lot of respect for our program.'
This is USC's 14th trip to the NCAA Tournament, and the Women of Troy have posted a 28-12 record in NCAA action. Last year's NCAA appearance was the first since 1997 for the Trojans, who were a No. 8 seed in 2005 as well. The 2005 Tournament had the Women of Troy start up in Minnesota, where the Trojans won their first-round game 65-49 before falling 61-59 to eventual finalist Michigan State.
The winner of Sunday's USC-South Florida first-round game will face either top-seeded Duke (26-3) or No. 16 seed Southern (20-10) Tuesday, March 21. Both games are being hosted by Old Dominion.
South Florida finished tied in sixth place at 9-7 in the Big East regular season. Top player Jessica Dickson leads the Bulls with 22.1 points per game -- third in the nation.
The Women of Troy are led in scoring by Eshaya Murphy, who has hit double digits in 23 straight games and averages 17.7 points. Although the Women of Troy have had three players sidelined with injuries, the Trojans managed a fourth-place finish in the Pac-10 and joins six other Pac-10 teams in this year's 2006 NCAA Tournament.