January 7, 1997
USC Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Home Schedule
Face California On Friday, Stanford On Sunday
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's basketball team (8-3 overall, 2-0 in the Pac-10, tied for first), under the direction of second-year coach Fred Williams and paced by Naismith Player of the Year candidate Tina Thompson, opens the home portion of its Pacific-10 Conference schedule with a Friday night date with California (5-6, 1-1) at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Sunday match-up with No. 3 Stanford (14-1, 2-0) at 2 p.m. Both games are at the Lyon Center. USC has won 6 of its last 7 games, including a sweep of its first conference road trip of the season at the Washington schools.
RANKINGS -- Stanford is No. 3 in the AP poll. USC and California are not ranked. USC received 2 votes in the last ranking.
SERIES -- Stanford is one of only 2 Pac-10 schools with winning records against USC (Washington is the other). The Cardinal holds a 17-15 edge. USC is 18-8 against California. USC has not defeated Stanford since the 1993-94 season and has lost 5 in a row. The last time USC defeated the Cardinal was on Jan. 20, 1994, 81-73, at the Lyon Center. USC has won 7 in a row against the Golden Bears, last losing to Cal on Jan. 21, 1993, 68-55, in Berkeley. USC has not lost to Cal in Southern California since the 1989-90 season.
PROBABLE STARTERS: USC Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 14 Tina Thompson F 6-3 Sr. 23.1 10.6 45 Jodi Parriott F 6-2 So. 10.1 4.0 50 Michelle Campbell C 6-5 Sr. 11.1 8.4 5 Erica Jackson G 5-8 Sr. 5.4 3.6* 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 So. 11.0 3.8 California Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 32 Patrycja Czepiec F 6-0 Sr. 17.1 5.3 40 Kobie Kennon F 6-1 So. 1.6 2.2 50 Jennie Leander C 6-3 So. 12.6 9.7 3 Liz Rizzo G 5-10 Sr. 9.1 3.2 23 Sherrise Smith G 5-5 So. 4.7 3.4* Stanford Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 13 Vanessa Nygaard F 6-1 Jr. 13.1 7.8 00 Olympia Scott F 6-2 Jr. 16.9 8.0 34 N. Mulitauaopele F/C 6-4 Jr. 10.8 6.2 10 Jamila Wideman G 5-6 Sr. 6.8 5.2* 30 Kate Starbird F/G 6-2 Sr. 18.9 4.0 *assist average
LAST WEEK -- USC swept Washington and Washington State on the road for the first time since the 1992-93 season. USC defeated Washington on Thursday (Jan. 2), 69-68, and came back 2 days later on Saturday (Jan. 4) to down Washington State, 70-63. In the game against the Huskies, sophomore forward Jodi Parriott, who one game earlier against Western Kentucky missed on an opportunity to win the game at the foul line, got a second chance to be a hero. The Women of Troy trailed the Huskies, 68-66, with 2.3 seconds remaining when Washington's Elise Niemela went to the stripe in a one-and-one situation. She missed the front end and the rebound caromed to Parriott. From the key, Parriott, who scored a team-high 22 points, took 2 dribbles and heaved a shot from near halfcourt. The shot was off, but Niemela was called for a foul, sending Parriott to the line for 3 free throws with no time left on the clock. In front of a screaming crowd almost 4,000-strong, Parriott, who made her first career start in the game, calmly sank all 3 shots, starting a wild USC celebration. Early in the game, it didn't look like USC would need such a stunning comeback. The Women of Troy, behind 13 first-half points from senior forward Tina Thompson and 10 from Parriott, led by as much as 15 in the first half and took a 34-21 lead into halftime. But Washington, sparked by the return of guard Laure Savasta, mounted a comeback. USC held a 10-point lead as late as 8:50 to go, but a 13-2 run that covered almost 7 minutes gave Washington the lead at 62-61. An Erica Jackson 3-pointer gave USC the lead at 64-62 and a Parriott putback tied the game at 66-66 with 36 seconds to go. A Savasta layup with 19 seconds remaining gave the Huskies the lead and, after failing to tie the game, USC fouled Niemela to set the scene for Parriott. Against the Cougars, Thompson led all scorers and rebounders with 23 points and 10 boards. Parriott, making her second consecutive start, and sophomore guard Kristin Clark had 13 points apiece and sophomore forward/center Adrain Williams, whom Parriott replaced in the starting lineup, added 12 off the bench. In a close contest, neither team led by more than 5 in the first half and Washington State took a 38-36 lead into halftime. Down 44-38 with 18:25 to play in the second half, USC went on a 13-0 run to take a 51-44 lead at 13:48. USC never relinquished the lead and led by at least 3 points the rest of the game.
TROY NOTES -- USC topped the 90-point mark in 3 consecutive games (UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, New Orleans) for the first time since the 1986-87 season. The last time USC did it 4 times in a row was in the 1982-83 season when the Women of Troy surpassed 90 points 5 consecutive times . . . USC has outblocked its opponents at a wild pace, 61-15, or an average of 5.6-1.4. Additionally, 5 of the 15 blocked shots by opponents came in the New Orleans game . . . USC has had 2 overtime games this season (UC Santa Barbara and Western Kentucky, double overtime) and is 1-1 in those games, beating the Gauchos and falling to the Lady Toppers . . . USC is holding opponents to a .362 field goal percentage and is outscoring opponents, 77.3-66.9 . . . USC has had 5 players set career scoring highs this season (Michelle Campbell, Kim and Kristin Clark, Jodi Parriott, Adrain Williams) . . . In the double-overtime Western Kentucky game, USC had 5 players play more than 40 minutes, including Kristin Clark, who played all 50 minutes . . . USC has played 3 Sun Belt Conference schools, beating New Orleans and falling to Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky . . . USC tied a school record at Washington when it made 19-of-20 free throws for a clip of 95%. The Women of Troy did the same in 1993 . . . USC swept the Washington schools on the road this year for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
COACH FRED WILLIAMS -- USC women's basketball coach Fred Williams is in his second year as head coach and is in his 12th season with the program in some capacity. He was named head coach of the Women of Troy following Cheryl Miller's resignation in September of 1995. A longtime fixture in the Los Angeles basketball community, Williams was USC's associate head coach under Miller for 2 seasons (1994-95) and spent 8 seasons as an assistant (1984-91). In his first season as head coach, Williams' squad, which featured 6 freshmen and only 1 healthy senior, finished 13-14 overall and 8-10 in the Pacific-10 Conference. As associate head coach during the 1993-94 and 94-95 seasons, Williams helped direct USC to a 44-14 record and 2 NCAA Tournament appearances (including to the Mideast Regional Final in 1994).
TINA THOMPSON -- A Naismith Player of the Year Top 10 candidate for the 1996-97 season, 6-3 forward Tina Thompson has opened her senior season averaging 23.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, scoring at least 21 points in 9 of 11 contests, including 6 efforts of 25 or more. Thompson, who has 6 double-doubles, has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week twice this season for the weeks ending Dec. 8 and Dec. 22. They were her third and fourth such honors in her career with one each coming as a sophomore and junior. Thompson, who has also been named to 2 all-tournament teams this season in addition to being selected as MVP of the Pac-10/Sun Belt Challenge, posted a season-high 31 points vs. UC Santa Barbara (12/19) to go along with 14 rebounds. She had 30 points against New Orleans (12/28) in the first day of the Pac-10/Sun Belt Challenge and she scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, blocked 3 shots and had 5 steals vs. Long Beach State (12/21). Thompson began this season with a 25-point, 11-rebound effort against San Diego State (12/1). She put up 22 points and a career-high 6 blocks against Western Illinois (12/6) in the first round of the Dial Soap Classic at Louisiana Tech and came back with a game-high 25 points (including 2 3-pointers) in the title game against the Lady Techsters (12/7), helping her earn All-Tournament honors. Thompson posted a 25-point, 17-rebound showing against Utah (12/14) in the UC Irvine Tournament, where she also earned All-Tournament honors. She opened the Pac-10 with her fifth double-double of the season at Washington (1/2), scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and followed that up with a 23-point, 10-rebound, 4-steal outing against Washington State (1/4). Thompson began the season fresh off of her second consecutive appearance on the Jones Cup team, and was a preseason Dick Vitale College Basketball second team All-American selection. She has been one of the most dominating post players in the Pac-10 during her 3-plus years at USC and has developed into one of the top players in the country. She is equally skilled in the paint and on the perimeter and is averaging double-figures in rebounding for her career. Thompson is the active leading scorer and rebounder in the Pac-10 with 1,849 points and 978 boards to her credit, good for 7th and 6th, respectively, on the all-time lists. She also has recorded 48 career double-doubles. A 1996 AP and Kodak honorable mention All-American, Naismith 'Best of the Rest' selection, All-Pac-10, Kodak All-American District 8 and preseason All-American selection, Thompson led the Women of Troy in scoring (23.1) and rebounding (9.3) for the second consecutive year as a 1995-96 junior forward. Thompson's junior season was highlighted by a 49-point effort against UCLA, which is second all-time among Pac-10 and USC performers, just 1 point shy of former Trojan standout Cherie Nelson's 50 against California in 1989.
MICHELLE CAMPBELL -- Perhaps the top shot blocker in the Pac-10, 6-5 center Michelle Campbell has proven to be a big factor in the fortunes of the Women of Troy in 1996-97. She put in another summer in which she worked hard on her game and USC has relied on her for inside scoring support as well as strong defense in the post. A reserve last season, she is again a starter and is flourishing, averaging 11.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and a team-high 2.7 blocks per game. Campbell, who has 3 double-doubles, put forth an excellent performance in the Pac-10/Sun Belt Challenge, earning All-Tournament honors. She scored 25 points, blocked 7 shots, both career highs, and had 12 rebounds against Western Kentucky (12/29) and had 16 points against New Orleans (12/28) to go along with 4 blocks and a career-high 5 assists. She had 15 points and tied a season high with 13 rebounds vs. Long Beach State (12/21) to go along with 4 blocks. Campbell had 14 points and 13 rebounds vs. UC Santa Barbara (12/19), 10 points against Utah (12/14), 11 rebounds and 3 blocks vs. Colorado State (12/13), 9 rebounds against Louisiana Tech (12/7), 8 points and a career-high 4 steals at Washington (1/2) and 9 rebounds and 3 blocks at Washington State (1/4). Campbell, who has at least 1 block in 9 of 10 games, increased her scoring in 7 consecutive games in one early stretch, going from 4 points against Louisiana Tech to 25 against Western Kentucky. One of only 2 fifth-year seniors on the team (Rashida Jeffery is the other), Campbell was second on the Pac-10's active career leader board in blocked shots entering her senior season and now has 130. Campbell was a key reserve off the bench in 1995-96 as a junior, averaging 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just 13.4 minutes.
ERICA JACKSON -- Coach Williams is looking for a solid leadership figure as well as a veteran guard in 1996-97 and has both in 5-8 senior Erica Jackson. With 50 career starts to her credit entering this season, Jackson is a starter for her third consecutive year. Jackson scored 9 points and dished out 6 assists in USC's opener vs. San Diego State (12/1), had 9 points again vs. Utah (12/14) and New Orleans (12/28), had 8 points (all on free throws) and 5 rebounds vs. UC Santa Barbara (12/19), had 8 points, 4 assists and 3 steals vs. Long Beach State (12/21) and had 7 points and 5 rebounds against Louisiana Tech (12/7). Jackson, who had a career-high 10 assists vs. Western Kentucky (12/29), leads USC in assists and has opened the season hot at the free throw line, making 24 of her first 32 attempts (75.0%), including a stretch of 17 in a row, which ended against the Gauchos. She is set at point guard, but, as she did for much of last season, she is able to slide over and play the 2-guard as well. Jackson started all but 1 game as a junior in 1995-96, sharing the backcourt with Erica Mashia.
KRISTIN CLARK -- A feisty guard with a do-all attitude, sophomore Kristin Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kim Clark) figured to serve mainly as a backup guard in 1996-97, but has moved into the starting role as a result of Erica Mashia's hip injury. Clark looked sharp in the preseason and has continued her solid play into the regular season as the team's third-leading scorer (11.0) and possibly its most improved player. In USC's overtime win over UC Santa Barbara (12/19), Clark hit the game-tying shot, a 12-footer with 14 seconds to go, that sent the game into the extra period. She finished with 11 points and 6 steals in the win and has had at least 2 steals in all but 3 games this season. She has scored a career-high 19 points twice, once in the win over Utah (12/14) and again in the win over New Orleans (12/28). She had 13 points and 7 rebounds at Washington State (1/4) and, in the second game of the Pac-10/Sun Belt Challenge vs. Western Kentucky (12/29), Clark played all 50 minutes of the double-overtime affair, scoring 12 points and dishing out 8 assists. She opened the season with 12 points and 6 rebounds against San Diego State (12/1), had 11 points, 2 assists and 3 steals vs. Washington (1/2), had 9 points vs. Colorado State (12/13) and had a game-high 5 assists vs. Western Illinois (12/6). A solid ball-handler, the 5-7 Clark is equally deft at penetrating and dishing or pulling up for a 3-pointer. She is also valuable defensively as she is one of the quickest players on the team and leads USC in steals (2.3) and floor burns. Playing in all 27 games as a freshman, Clark came on at the end of the 1995-96 season and became a valuable contributor for the USC backcourt, starting 3 times.
ADRAIN WILLIAMS -- A 6-4 sophomore forward, Adrain Williams has started 9 games for the Women of Troy this season after starting all season as a freshman. An athletic player, she is quick and agile for her size, a good rebounder and she can get out on the break or pull up for a jumper. She is fifth in scoring (8.2) and third in rebounding (6.1) and posted the best game of her USC career against Colorado State (12/13) with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Williams put together her second double-double of the season in the win over Long Beach State (12/21) with 13 points and 11 rebounds. She scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting at Washington State (1/4) off the bench, posted 11 points and 4 steals against Western Illinois (12/6), had 11 points vs. New Orleans (12/28) and in USC's opener vs. San Diego State (12/1), she grabbed 5 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in only 24 minutes. A frontcourt starter in 20 of 27 games as a freshman in 1995-96, Williams averaged 9.6 points per game (third on the team) and was second in rebounding (5.8).
Jodi PARRIOTT -- A versatile forward, 6-2 sophomore Jodi Parriott has seen her role increase in 1996-97 as she provides Coach Williams with options at both the 3 and 4 positions. Parriott, USC's fourth-leading scorer (10.1) who has started the last 2 games at small forward, has come on strong as of late, scoring a career-high 22 points vs. Western Kentucky (12/29) on 9-of-16 shooting and then matching that on 9-of-15 shooting at Washington (1/2) in her first career start. In the win over the Huskies, Parriott sank 3 free throws with no time on the clock to give USC a 1-point win. She followed that up with a 13-point effort on 6-of-8 shooting at Washington State (1/4). Parriott posted 20 points (including 7 in overtime) and 8 rebounds against UC Santa Barbara (12/19). She opened the season with 8 points and 3 steals off the bench against San Diego State (12/1), had 8 points vs. Long Beach State (12/21), had 6 points and 4 rebounds vs. Western Illinois (12/6) and had 6 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. Utah (12/14). Playing in all but 1 game, all off the bench, as a 1995-96 freshman, Parriott averaged 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in an average of 9.6 minutes per outing.
KIM CLARK -- After missing most of last season with a right shoulder injury, Kim Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kristin Clark) is expected to add outside shooting depth to USC's perimeter game in 1996-97. The 5-7 redshirt freshman, an aggressive player with an eye for loose balls, can also contribute as a defensive stopper. A lower back injury kept her out of early action this season, but Clark made her season debut against Long Beach State (12/21), playing 6 minutes, making 1-of-2 shots to go along with 1 rebound and 1 assist. She has played in 3 games this season, seeing her most significant action at Washington State (1/4), playing 5 minutes in the first half as a defensive catalyst off the bench. She is one of 2 2-sport athletes on the team (true freshman Antoinette Polk is the other) and was a starting midfielder on the USC soccer team this fall. Clark scored 6 goals this year and had 3 assists.
RASHIDA JEFFERY -- Counted on for important minutes inside the key, 6-2 senior forward/center Rashida Jeffery will play a valuable role for the Women of Troy in 1996-97 as the top post player off the bench. Jeffery got a chance to start in USC's opener and came up big, grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds in 31 minutes to go along with 10 points against San Diego State (12/1). Restricted by chronic knee problems, Jeffery, who missed the last 9 games due to a knee sprain, is still one of the most athletic players in the conference and routinely plays at the rim, making her one of the most fierce rebounders in the Pac-10. USC's most productive frontcourt player off the bench as a junior in 1995-96, Jeffery averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds (third best on the team) in only 15.2 minutes per game.
ERICA MASHIA -- A Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection as a freshman guard in 1995-96, Erica Mashia was slated as USC's starting shooting guard this season. However, after finishing second on the team in scoring as a freshman and setting school season free throw and 3-point percentage records, Mashia reaggravated a hip injury suffered last season (in the preseason) and will likely be forced to redshirt.
FANTASTIC FRESHMEN -- Williams added 4 freshmen to his roster this season, including 2 who are seeing opportunities right away. Guard Kiyoko Miller (5-8), from Valley Christian High (Brea, Calif.), comes to USC as a USA Today All-USA Honorable Mention and Southern Section Division IV Co-Player of the Year. Forward Tiffany Washington (6-2), from Bishop Montgomery High (Torrance, Calif.), was the Southern Section Division III Player of the Year. Miller scored a season-high 7 points vs. Utah (12/14), had a season-high 5 rebounds vs. New Orleans (12/28), had 6 points, 3 assists and 2 steals vs. Long Beach State (12/21) and had a combined 10 points in USC's 2 games in the Dial Soap Classic (12/6-7). Instinctive on the court, Miller had 3 assists and 2 steals in both games at the UC Irvine Tournament. Washington posted a double-double in only her second game, scoring 12 points and getting 11 rebounds against Western Illinois (12/6) and then scored 11 points (on 5-of-5 shooting) with 7 rebounds vs. Colorado State (12/13). She has made 13-of-20 shots on the season and is averaging 3.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game. Coach Williams has welcomed to the squad Antoinette Polk, a 5-10 guard who recently finished her first season with the volleyball team. Polk spent the volleyball season as a redshirt, but began basketball practice Dec. 16 and made her USC debut in the final 3 minutes of the Long Beach State game. She made 1 of 2 shots in her first appearance and went scoreless in her other appearance against New Orleans (12/28). The Sacramento Player of the Year, Polk, from El Camino High (Sacramento, Calif.), is an excellent athlete with great speed, quickness and leaping abilities. Also new is walk-on Robyn Lewis, a 5-7 guard from Gahr High (Cerritos, Calif.), who earned All-San Gabriel Valley League honors as a senior last year. She has played in 4 games this season, making 2 of 7 shots.
USC IN THE PAC-10 (as of 1/6) -- Tina Thompson leads the Pac-10 in scoring (23.1), is third in rebounding (10.6), fourth in 3-point percentage (.375), tied for fifth in blocked shots (1.5), sixth in field goal percentage (.524), ninth in free throw percentage (.722) and tied for ninth in steals (2.2). Michelle Campbell leads the Pac-10 in blocked shots (2.7), is seventh in rebounding (8.4) and tied for 10th in field goal percentage (.505). Erica Jackson is seventh in free throw percentage (.750) and tied for eighth in assists (3.6) and Kristin Clark is tied for seventh in steals (2.3). As a team, USC leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (47.7) and is third in scoring offense (77.3) and field goal percentage defense (.362). USC's 45 free throws vs. UC Santa Barbara (12/19) and its .950 free throw percentage at Washington are Pac-10 highs and its 59 rebounds against Colorado State (12/13) is tied for a Pac-10 high. Campbell's 7 blocks vs. Western Kentucky (12/29) are a Pac-10 high, as are Thompson's and Rashida Jeffery's 17-rebound efforts.
SCHEDULE -- The Women of Troy face 3 teams currently in the AP Top 25 this season: Louisiana Tech, Stanford and Western Kentucky. USC already faced then-No. 3 Louisiana Tech in the Dial Soap Classic, falling 66-47, as well as then-No. 9 Western Kentucky, falling 85-82 in double overtime.
CALIFORNIA -- Former USC Coach Marianne Stanley is in her first year as the head coach of California. Stanley, who served as a co-coach for the Cardinal last year, helping guide Stanford to a 29-3 mark and a Final Four appearance, was 71-46 with the Women of Troy between 1990-93. USC fifth-year seniors Michelle Campbell and Rashida Jeffery both played under Stanley as freshmen, though Campbell redshirted. The Golden Bears have opened 5-6 overall, 1-1 in the Pac-10. They are led by senior forward Patrycja Czepiec's 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and sophomore center Jennie Leander's 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. Sophomore guard Sherrise Smith, who prepped at Crossroads High in Los Angeles, leads Cal in assists. True freshman guard Paige Bowie prepped at the same high school, Clovis West in Fresno, Calif., as USC sophomore Adrain Williams.
STANFORD -- Tara VanDerveer, now in her 11th season at Stanford, has returned to The Farm after a year off spent coaching the 1996 USA Olympic gold-medalist women's basketball team. Stanford (14-1, 2-0), ranked No. 3 by AP, is led by senior forward Kate Starbird, an All-American candidate who is averaging 18.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Three other players are averaging in double-figures in scoring, including junior forward Olympia Scott (16.9 points, 8.0 rebounds). The Cardinal won its first 9 games before losing its only contest at Old Dominion. Stanford has since won 5 in a row, including a home sweep of the Arizona schools to open Pac-10 play. Two Cardinal players prepped in Southern California: Scott at Saint Bernard High in Los Angeles and freshman guard Melody Peterson at Mater Dei High in Orange.
PAC-10 PRESEASON COACHES POLL -- 1. Stanford, 2. Oregon, 3. USC, 4. Arizona, 5. UCLA, 6. Washington, 7. Washington State, 8. California, 9. Oregon State, 10. Arizona State.
EARLY SIGNING -- USC signed one player in the early signing period, forward Tashara Carter, a 6-0 forward from Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.). Carter averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds as a junior last season when she teamed with current Trojan freshman forward Tiffany Washington. Carter was recently tabbed a 1996-97 Street & Smith All-American honorable mention. Other honors include: All-State Division III as a junior in 1996, All-CIF Division III in 1995 and 1996, 1995 Los Angeles Times All-South Bay, 1995 and 1996 Daily Breeze All-South Bay, 1995 Del Rey League MVP and 2-time All-Del Rey League selection. Carter, who averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore, helped lead Bishop Montgomery to the Division III-AA state championship in 1995.
SHORTHANDED -- USC Coach Fred Williams has been without his full complement of players so far this season. It starts with the likely season-long loss of starting sophomore guard Erica Mashia because of a hip injury. He had been without the services of both redshirt freshman guard Kim Clark (because of a nagging back injury) and freshman guard Antoinette Polk, who has been with the volleyball team. Both made their debut in USC's game against Long Beach State (12/21). Williams also has had to do without senior forward Rashida Jeffery for the last 9 games because of a sprained knee. Jeffery is questionable for this week's games.