Jan. 21, 1997
Women's Basketball Plays At Crosstown Rival UCLA
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's basketball team (11-4 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-10, good for second place and only 1 game out of first), under the direction of second-year coach Fred Williams and paced by Naismith Player of the Year candidate Tina Thompson, travels across the I-10 to Westwood to face crosstown rival UCLA (8-7, 2-4) in the first 1996-97 meeting for the 2 schools. USC has won 9 of its last 11 games overall this year.
Rankings -- USC and UCLA are not ranked.
Series -- USC leads UCLA, 26-22. USC saw its 9-game winning streak against UCLA fall last season in Westwood, 77-54. The Women of Troy defeated the Bruins earlier in the year at the Lyon Center, 96-77, as USC's Tina Thompson scored a career-high 49 points, 1 point shy of the Pac-10 and USC-record 50 points set by former Trojan Cherie Nelson.
PROBABLE STARTERS: USC Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 14 Tina Thompson F 6-3 Sr. 23.1 10.5 45 Jodi Parriott F 6-2 So. 9.7 3.7 50 Michelle Campbell C 6-5 Sr. 11.0 8.0 5 Erica Jackson G 5-8 Sr. 6.3 4.2* 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 So. 11.2 3.2 UCLA Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 13 Maylana Martin F 6-2 Fr. 19.5 6.9 32 Takiyah Jackson F 6-0 Fr. 7.7 3.7 44 Carly Funicello C 6-4 Fr. 7.3 5.7 30 Tawana Grimes G 5-9 Jr. 8.7 4.3* 35 Aisha Veasley G 5-9 Jr. 6.1 5.1 *assist average
Player Of The Week -- USC senior forward Tina Thompson earned her third Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Monday (Jan. 20). The last time a USC player had 3 such honors was in the 1990-91 season when Lisa Leslie did it. The most any Trojan has had in 1 season is 5, set by Cherie Nelson in the 1987-88 season.
Last Week -- USC defeated Arizona, 87-72, in Tucson and beat Arizona State, 82-55, in Tempe. Against the Wildcats, senior forward Tina Thompson scored a game-high 26 points and had 14 rebounds and sophomore guard Kristin Clark knocked in a career-high 25 points, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers. USC shot 12-of-18 from behind the 3-point arc, setting a school record for most 3-pointers made in a game. USC turned a tie game with 6:30 to go into a runaway shortly after with a 13-2 run that covered almost 5 minutes as the Women of Troy shackled the Wildcat offense down the stretch. USC trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, but used a flurry of 3-pointers, including 6 of its last 7 first-half scores, to take a 1-point halftime lead. Thompson led the way again against the Sun Devils, scoring a game-high 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. USC opened up a close game midway through the first half with a 15-3 run and took a 38-25 lead at halftime. Arizona State rallied briefly in the second half, closing the gap to 49-40 with 14:03 to go, but that was as close as the Sun Devils would get. Led by Thompson, senior center Michelle Campbell (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Clark (12 points), USC pulled away with a 20-4 run as Coach Fred Williams was able to empty his bench with 5 minutes to go in the game.
Records -- Forward Tina Thompson is close to becoming the Pac-10's all-time leader in both free throws made and attempted. Standing at 476-for-663 for her career, she needs just 4 free throws attempts to move ahead of Stanford's Val Whiting (666) and 13 more free throws made to go to the top of the chart in that category ahead of fellow Trojan Cherie Nelson (488). Thompson is currently fourth on that list, trailing Whiting (481), California's Teresa Palmisano (482) and Nelson. Thompson's 48 points over the weekend give her 1,941 for her career, just 16 points short of moving into fifth place on the Pac-10 career scoring list ahead of Oregon's Stefanie Kasperski (1,956). Thompson's 26 rebounds over the weekend give her 1,020, moving her ahead of Kasperski (996) and Oregon State's Tanja Kostic (1,001) into fourth place on the Pac-10 career rebounding chart. Next up is Stanford's Val Whiting (1,134). Thompson is 54 field goals away from cracking the Pac-10's Top 5 chart and 121 away from doing the same in field goal attempts . . . USC's 12 3-pointers at Arizona set a school record for most 3-pointers in a game. The previous record was 11, set against Arizona State on Feb. 15, 1996. Kristin Clark's 5-of-6 performance on 3-pointers in the Arizona game tied her for the second-most made in a game with Erica Mashia's performance last year against California. Clark's 3-point percentage against the Wildcats is also good for second all-time on the single game chart . . . The Women of Troy tied a school record at Washington when they made 19-of-20 free throws for a clip of 95 percent. The Women of Troy did the same in 1993.
Troy Notes -- USC is off to its best conference start (5-1) since the 1993-94 season when the Women of Troy won their first 10 Pac-10 games . . . Three of USC's 4 losses have been by 3 points or less and 3 of USC's 4 losses have come at the hands of teams that were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the game . . . 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, 78-18, or an average of 5.2-1.2. Additionally, 5 of the 18 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 .367 field goal percentage and is outscoring opponents, 79.1-66.5 . . . USC has had 6 players set or tie career scoring highs this season (Michelle Campbell, Kim and Kristin Clark, Erica Jackson, 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 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 is in the midst of an All-American senior season, averaging 23.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, both Pac-10 highs, 1.5 blocks and 2.1 steals per game, scoring at least 21 points in 12 of 15 contests, including 8 efforts of 25 or more. Thompson, who has 8 double-doubles, giving her 50 for her career, has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week 3 times this season for the weeks ending Dec. 8, Dec. 22 and Jan. 19. They were her third, fourth and fifth 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 hit 26 again at Arizona (1/16) to go with 14 rebounds. She 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 a double-double at Washington (1/2) and followed that up with a 23-point, 10-rebound, 4-steal outing against Washington State (1/4). She had 19 points against California (1/10), 25 vs. Stanford (1/12) and 22 vs. Arizona State (1/18). Thompson is the active leading scorer and rebounder in the Pac-10 with 1,941 points and 1,020 boards to her credit, good for sixth and fourth place on the all-time lists, respectively. 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 Cal in 1989.
Michelle Campbell -- 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, 8.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Campbell, who has 4 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 18 points and 9 rebounds at Arizona State (1/18), 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), 13 points and 10 rebounds at Arizona (1/16), 12 points vs. Stanford (1/10), 10 points against Utah (12/14) and 11 rebounds and 3 blocks vs. Colorado State (12/13). Campbell, who has at least 1 block in 13 of 14 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 136. 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 (averaging a team-high 4.2 assists) tied her career high in scoring against California (1/10) with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, which included 2-of-3 on 3-pointers. She followed that with an 11-point effort, including 2 more 3-pointers, against Stanford (1/12) and had 10 points, 9 assists and another 2 3-pointers at Arizona (1/16). She scored 9 points and dished out 6 assists in USC's opener vs. San Diego State (12/1) and had 9 points again vs. Utah (12/14) and New Orleans (12/28). Jackson, who had a career-high 10 assists vs. Western Kentucky (12/29), is USC's second best free throw shooter, making 29 of her 42 attempts, which includes a stretch of 17 in a row that 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 has been sharp all season as the team's second-leading scorer (11.2) and possibly the Pac-10's most improved player. Clark scored a career-high 25 points at Arizona (1/16), making 5-of-6 3-pointers in the process. 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 11 of 15 games this season. She has scored 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), 12 points and 4 assists at Arizona State (1/18), 10 points and 4 steals vs. Stanford (1/10), 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 is first in steals (2.4) 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 most of the 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 (7.9) and third in rebounding (6.0) 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 and repeated the feat vs. California (1/10) with 12 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. 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) and had 11 points vs. New Orleans (12/28). 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 (9.7) who has started at small forward since the Pac-10 season started, has been 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) and had 16 points and 8 rebounds vs. California (1/10). 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, has come on recently as a defensive catalyst and as a back-up ball-handler. 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 6 games this season, setting a career high with 11 points vs. California (1/10) on 5-of-6 shooting in 8 minutes. At Washington State (1/4), she played 5 minutes in the first half as a defensive spark off the bench and served the same role at Arizona (1/16). At Arizona State (1/18), Clark had 3 points, 2 assists and 2 steals in 11 minutes. 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 was geared to play a valuable role for the Women of Troy in 1996-97 as the top post player off the bench, but she has missed the last 13 games due to a knee sprain. 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). She sprained her knee against Western Illinois (12/6) and has been sidelined ever since. When healthy, she is 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, who made her first career start at Arizona (1/16), 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), 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting vs. California (1/10) and had a combined 10 points in USC's 2 games in the Dial Soap Classic (12/6-7). Washington, who recently came up with a strong showing against Stanford, scoring 5 points in 5 minutes, 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 had 8 points and 7 rebounds (5 offensive) at Arizona State (1/18). She has made 17-of-30 shots on the season and is averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11.6 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 is 5-of-10 on the season in 4 games, recently setting a career high with 6 points at Arizona State on 3-of-3 shooting. 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 6 games this season, making 4-of-12 shots.
USC In The Pac-10 (as of 1/20) -- Tina Thompson is the Pac-10's leading scorer (23.1) and rebounder (10.5). She is tied for second in 3-point percentage (.407), tied for third in blocked shots (1.5) and is sixth in field goal percentage (.527) and free throw percentage (.748). Michelle Campbell leads the Pac-10 in blocked shots (2.4), is seventh in rebounding (8.0) and eighth in field goal percentage (.512). Erica Jackson is sixth in assists (4.2), Kristin Clark is tied for seventh in steals (2.4) and is 10th in 3-point percentage (.340). As a team, USC leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (45.6), is second in field goal percentage (.454) and is third in scoring offense (79.1), 3-point field goal percentage (.349), scoring margin (12.6) and field goal percentage defense (.367). 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 have faced 3 teams currently in the AP Top 25 this season: Louisiana Tech, Stanford and Western Kentucky. USC fell to then-No. 3 Louisiana Tech in the Dial Soap Classic, 66-47, lost to then-No. 9 Western Kentucky, 85-82, in double overtime, and lost to then-No. 3 Stanford, 77-76.
UCLA -- The Bruins are headed by fourth-year coach Kathy Olivier. UCLA (8-7, 2-4) features one of the youngest teams in the Pac-10, including freshman forward Maylana Martin, the Bruins' leading scorer and rebounder at 19.5 points and 6.9 boards per games. Starting alongside Martin is fellow freshman center Carly Funicello (7.3 points) and freshman forward Takiyah Jackson (7.7 points). Holding down the backcourt are veteran guards Tawana Grimes and Aisha Veasley, both juniors. Like USC, UCLA has been without its heralded sophomore guard. 1996 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Erica Gomez will miss the entire season rehabilitating a knee injury.
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, 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 13 games because of a sprained knee. Jeffery is questionable for this week's games.
Williams Says -- "I'm very pleased with both wins over Arizona and Arizona State. Any time you go on the road in the Pac-10, it's a battle and that's what both games were last weekend. I'm obviously pleased with the play of Tina Thompson, but everyone is stepping up, helping us to a good balance on offense. The UCLA game is always a tough contest, especially in Pauley. They have a fine team with great young talent and it will be another good test for us."