Dec. 9, 1997
USC Prepares to Host San Diego State
LOS ANGELES ó The USC womenís basketball team (2-2), under first-year head coach Chris Gobrecht and coming off a 1-2 road trip (a loss at Santa Barbara and a split at the Dial Soap Classic), returns home to host San Diego State (2-3) at the Lyon Center on Saturday (Dec. 13) at 7 p.m.
RANKINGS ó USC and San Diego State are not ranked.
SAN DIEGO STATE ó The Aztecs, under first-year coach Barb Smith, snapped a 3-game losing streak by beating Duquesne, 64-59, on Sunday (Dec. 7). Senior forward Olivia DiCamilli leads San Diego State in scoring at 12.6 points per game and sophomore forward/center Courtney Bale is averaging 11.0 points per game. Freshman forward/center Alyssa Fredrick is pulling down a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game and junior guard Charley Murray is averaging 4.6 assists per game. USC leads the all-time series with the Aztecs, 25-7, including a 71-60 win in San Diego last year to open the season.
LAST WEEK ó USC suffered its first road loss of the season at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 4 and then got a split at the Dial Soap Classic (Dec. 6-7) at Kansas with a loss to Grambling State and a win over Coppin State. USC fell to the Gauchos, 79-61. The Women of Troy were dominated on the boards, allowing a school-opponent record 66 rebounds while managing only 26 of their own. The 66 rebounds was also a school record for the Gauchos, whose 29 offensive rebounds alone outnumbered USCís total rebounds. Despite the disparity, USC led at the half, 37-32. The Gauchos, however, heated up in the second half and beat the Women of Troy for the first time in 8 tries. USC was led by sophomore forward Tiffany Washington and freshman forward Whitney Houser, who scored 12 points apiece. Sophomore guard Kiyoko Miller posted a career-high 10 points. USC lost to Grambling State, 61-56, in the first round of the Dial Soap Classic. Junior guard Kristin Clark scored a team-high 13 points and sister Kim, a sophomore guard, scored 11. USC led 45-35 with 11:19 to go in the game, but Grambling State used a 15-0 run to take the lead for good. USC was outrebounded, 45-38, and made just 24-of-69 shots. The Women of Troy took out their frustrations on Coppin State in the consolation game, beating the Lady Eagles, 67-47. Junior forward/center Adrain Williams scored a game-high 17 points and Kristin Clark had 15 points and the Women of Troy evened their record at 2-2. USC led 31-16 at the half and held Coppin State to a .306 field-goal percentage.
USC NOTES ó When identical twin sisters Kristin and Kim Clark took the court for the opening tip against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 4, it marked the first time the pair started together in a Women of Troy lineup. The last time USC had twin sisters start together was April 1, 1984, when Pam and Paula McGee started together in the NCAA Championship game . . . Kristin Clark earned Dial Soap Classic All-Tournament honors in Lawrence, Kan. She averaged 14.0 points and 4.0 assists on the weekend . . . USC Coach Chris Gobrechtís defensive emphasis is already paying dividends. USCís scoring defense (allowing only 60.5 points per game) is second-best in the Pac-10 . . . The Women of Troy have been shorthanded since the preseason began, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, USC has had to deal with the injury bug. Three projected starters ó junior forward/center Adrain Williams, junior forward Jodi Parriott and sophomore guard Erica Mashia ó were the biggest blows. Williams missed almost all of the preseason with a foot injury before getting in a few minutes in USCís final exhibition game. A projected starter, she has been a reserve in USCís first 4 games. Parriott hasnít played since having knee surgery during the summer and wonít be available until at least the end of December. She recently suffered a hand injury as well but it is not expected to keep her out longer than her knee injury. Mashia, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, will miss the 1997-98 season as well with the same injury. Also banged up but playing through the pain is starting junior guard Kristin Clark. She suffered a broken toe before USCís exhibition opener and broke her nose in practice. Sister Kim, a 2-sport athlete and a sophomore guard, only recently began practicing with the basketball team. One of the top womenís soccer players on the West Coast, Clark finished soccer season in November and is getting acclimated to her new sport. Ironically, it was Kim, in her first basketball practice back, who broke Kristinís nose during a scrimmage. Fellow 2-sport athlete Antoinette Polk, a starter on the USC womenís volleyball team who was a reserve guard last year, has decided to give up basketball to concentrate on volleyball.
CHRIS GOBRECHT ó Twenty years after graduating from USC in 1977 to embark on a coaching career, Chris Gobrecht has returned to campus to take the helm of the Women of Troy basketball program. Gobrecht, 42, who played basketball and volleyball while at USC, has been a head coach at the Division I level for 18 years, having guided programs at Cal State Fullerton (6 years), Washington (11) and Florida State (1). She was a 2-time Pacific-10 Coach of the Year (1987-88) with the Huskies and has amassed a 334-205 career mark. She reached the 300-victory plateau on Jan. 19, 1995, at the age of 39, making her one of the youngest coaches to do so in America. During her 11 years (1986-96) at Washington, she compiled a 243-89 (.732) record. Gobrecht, the winningest coach in Washington history, led the Huskies to 9 NCAA Tournament berths (including advancing to the regionals 4 times), 3 conference championships (1986-88-90) and 4 second-place league finishes. Her teams won at least 16 games each season (including getting 20 wins 8 times). Gobrecht comes to USC after spending the 1997 season at Florida State. She began the process of reconstructing a downtrodden Seminole program and finished with a 5-22 record.
NEW STAFF ó Joining Gobrecht on the new staff are first-year coaches Stacy McIntyre (Kentucky í94), Erika Lang-Montgomery (Florida í95) and Traci Nemechek (Metropolitan State College at Denver í87).
KRISTIN CLARK ó A feisty guard who can change the face of a game with her intense play, 1997-98 junior Kristin Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kim Clark) returns as a starting guard for the Women of Troy. A solid ball-handler and outside shooter who is USCís leading scorer (13.0), 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 can cause havoc in the backcourt. Clark earned All-Tournament honors at the Dial Soap Classic at Lawrence, Kan., scoring a combined 28 points and dishing out 8 assists, including 15 against Coppin State (12/7). She opened the USC season against Long Beach State by scoring a game-high 15 points to go along with 6 assists and 5 steals. She had 9 points against UC Santa Barbara (12/4). She earned 1997 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors last year, leading USC in steals (2.6) and tying for third in the Pac-10 in that category. Clark scored a career-high 25 points at Arizona (1/16), making 5-of-6 3-pointers in the process. Clark bettered her trey marksmanship record with a 6-of-7 effort from behind the 3-point line against Washington State (3/6), scoring all of her 18 points on 3-pointers. She finished the season tied with teammate Tina Thompson with 41 3-pointers and led the team with 36.0% shooting from behind the arc (tied for seventh in the Pac-10). In conference games, she hit 41.9% of her 3-pointers (31-of-74).
ADRAIN WILLIAMS ó Adrain Williams, a junior forward/center, is expected to see her role expand in 1997-98. The talented Williams can run the court like a guard and finish as well as anyone in the Pac-10. But she will be most valuable to the Women of Troy in the paint where her rebounding and scoring will have to help make up much of the slack left by departed seniors Tina Thompson and Michelle Campbell. She spent most of the preseason recovering from a foot injury. She is close to full strength but hasnít started a game yet. Williams is USCís leading shot blocker (1.5), third-leading scorer (11.3) and second-leading rebounder (5.8) despite averaging only 21.5 minutes per game. She scored a game-high 17 points and had 7 rebounds against Coppin State (12/7) in the Dial Soap Classic, playing a season-high 30 minutes. In USCís opener against Long Beach State (11/25), Williams scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. She had 10 points and 6 rebounds against Grambling State (12/6). As a 1996-97 sophomore, Williams started 9 games for the Women of Troy before finishing the season as a valuable reserve. She finished fifth on the team in scoring (8.1) and third in rebounding (5.6) and blocked shots (0.7) in only 21.1 minutes per game. She posted the best game of her USC career against Colorado State (12/13) with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
TIFFANY WASHINGTON ó One of the top young rebounders in the Pac-10, 1997-98 sophomore forward Tiffany Washington has seen her role increase as a force in the paint at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. She is USCís leading rebounder (7.3) and also is averaging 2.3 steals per game. Washington, who has started every game, had her first double-double of the season against Grambling State (12/6) in the Dial Soap Classic, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She made her first career start against Long Beach State (11/25), scoring a career-high-tying 12 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and getting a career-high 6 steals. She tied her career high in scoring again at UC Santa Barbara, scoring 12 points (12/4). Washington was named a 1996-97 Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention selection as a forward/center last season, averaging 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per game. Playing in 28 games off the bench at either the power forward or center positions, Washington made 31-of-60 field goal attempts (51.7%) on the season and her 40 offensive rebounds were fourth best on the team.
KIM CLARK ó A scrappy player who brings darting quickness and aggressive play to every game, 1997-98 sophomore guard Kim Clark fits well into Coach Chris Gobrechtís defense-oriented style of play and has seen her time increase this year. In USCís season-opener against Long Beach State (11/25), she scored a career-high 12 points and followed that by making her first career start at UC Santa Barbara (12/4). She scored 11 points and made 3-of-3 3-point attempts against Grambling State (12/6). She has made 4-of-8 3-point attempts in the young season. Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kristin Clark) added speed and depth to USC as a reserve in 1996-97. She came on toward the end of the season as a defensive catalyst and as a back-up ball-handler. A lower back injury kept her out of early action, but Clark played in 17 games on the season, averaging 8.4 minutes per game. She made her season debut against Long Beach State (12/21) and less than a month later, she set a then-career high with 11 points vs. California (1/10) on 5-of-6 shooting in only 8 minutes. A 2-sport athlete, Clark was an All-Pac-10 and All-West Region first team selection on the USC soccer team as a midfielder in 1997. She was USCís leading scorer with 43 points (13 goals, 17 assists) and is considered one of the West Coastís top players.
KIYOKO MILLER ó A fine outside shooter and all-around player, Kiyoko Miller will compete for time at both guard positions as a 1997-98 sophomore. She made her second career start against Long Beach State (11/25) in USCís opener, scoring 8 points. Starting again at UC Santa Barbara (12/4), she scored a career-high 10 points and had 4 steals. She had a career-high 5 steals vs. Coppin State (12/7) and is tied for the team lead with 11. Miller played in every game as a 1996-97 freshman guard, starting once at Arizona (1/16). Playing an average of 13.3 minutes per game as a back-up at both the point and shooting guard, Miller averaged 2.6 points and 1.1 assists per game. She scored a season-high 7 points vs. Utah (12/14) and had a season-high 5 rebounds vs. New Orleans (12/28).
WHITNEY HOUSER ó Whitney Houser has been a pleasant surprise as a 1997-98 freshman forward. As a starter in each of USCís 4 games, she is USCís second-leading scorer (11.5) and is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game, third on the team. She is also the only Women of Troy player making more than half of her shots (19-of-37, .514) and she has made 8-of-9 free throws. She opened her USC career with a flourish, scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds as a starting forward against Long Beach State (11/25). She followed that by scoring 12 points at UC Santa Barbara (12/4). Against Coppin State (12/7), she tied her season high with 14 points and also had 7 boards. Houser, who prepped at Laguna Hills (Calif.) High, is a 2-time All-Pacific Coast League (1996-1997) first team selection and a 1997 All-CIF Division II second team pick. She helped lead Laguna Hills High to the 1997 state and Southern Section Division II titles.
TASHARA CARTER ó Tashara Carter, a 1997-98 freshman, has seen time right away at the small forward position but her excellent ball-handling skills have earned her time at guard as well. A fine athlete with the ability to shoot outside, Carter, who will challenge for starting time, gives the Women of Troyís offense another option. She scored 9 points in her USC debut against Long Beach State (11/25), adding 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Coming off the bench at UC Santa Barbara (12/4), Carter scored 9 points again and had a team-high 6 rebounds. As a prep senior in 1996-97, Carter was a 1997 USA Today Honorable Mention All-American, 1996-97 Street & Smith preseason All-American honorable mention, 1997 All-CIF Southern Section Division III Player of the Year and first-team selection and the 1997 South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year.
SHANNON KARTZ ó The only senior for the 1997-98 Women of Troy, Shannon Kartz will add depth at the 2-guard and a lot of hustle all over the court. She returns to the team after a year off spent concentrating on academics. Kartz started the second game of her career against Coppin State (12/7), but didnít score. She has played 23 minutes in USCís first 4 games but is still pointless.
ADRIA SNEED ó Adria Sneed, a forward who transferred from Ventura (Calif.) College, adds another legitimate rebounding force to the Women of Troy ranks and will compete for time at the small and power forward positions as a 1997-98 junior. She has 3 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of action in 3 games. Sneed, a 1996-97 J.C. All-State first team selection, averaged 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a 1997 sophomore at Ventura (Calif.) College, leading the Pirates to their second consecutive California J.C. State Championship. A 2-time Western State Conference (1996-1997) first team selection, she also was a 1996 J.C. All-State second team pick as a freshman.
JODI PARRIOTT ó A versatile forward, 1997-98 junior Jodi Parriott is USCís second-leading returning scorer (8.5 points). After starting for most of the 1996-97 season, Parriott, who also create mismatches for defenses, was to start at either forward positions. She will, however, be forced to miss the first 2 months of the season while rehabilitating from summer knee surgery. She is expected back near the end of December. She recently suffered a hand injury as well, but it is not expected to keep her out longer than the knee injury. USCís fourth-leading scorer in 1997, she started at small forward every game during the Pac-10 season and became a valuable contributor offensively and defensively for USC. She finished tied for third on the team with 14 3-pointers, but her 35.0% on treys (14-of-40) was good for second. Her 46.4 field goal percentage was third on the team (of those that attempted at least 100 shots) and she finished fourth in steals (1.0) and blocked shots (0.6).
ERICA MASHIA ó Erica Mashia, a redshirt sophomore who was forced to miss the entire 1996-97 season with a hip injury, hoped to back as a starting guard in 1997-98. But Mashia, who established herself as one of the top guards in the conference as a freshman in 1995-96, will be forced to miss this year as well with the same injury.
WALK-ON ADDED ó There is one addition to the USC roster that is not in the media guide. Walk-on Rachel Whitlow, a 5-10 sophomore guard, has been added to the team. Whitlow prepped at Hueneme High School in Oxnard, Calif., where she was a 2-time All-Channel League performer. She will wear No. 21 and has appeared in 1 game, playing 2 minutes.
ROAD WARRIORS ó After opening the season at home against Long Beach State, USC is in the middle of playing 7 of 8 games on the road. This Saturdayís home game against San Diego State on Dec. 13 at the Lyon Center is USCís only game on campus between the Dec. 4 game at UC Santa Barbara and the Pac-10 season-opener against Arizona State on Jan. 2.
SCHEDULE ó USC will face 5 schools that were either ranked or received votes in the Preseason AP Top 25. They are Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Washington.
CONGRATULATIONS ó USC assistant coach Erika Lang was married over Thanksgiving weekend to Larry Montgomery. Her new surname is Lang-Montgomery.
NEXT YEAR ó USC and the Sports Arena will play host to the NCAA Tournament West Regional next season (1999). Games will be played on March 20 and 22.
USC Record When....
At home 1-0
Scoring first 1-1
In overtime 0-0
Scoring less than 70 points 1-2
5 Trojans scoring in double figures 1-0
USC 50% or better from field 0-0
Game is decided by 5 points or less 0-0
The Last Time...
Scored 30 or more points Tina Thompson (32), 3/8/97
Scored 100 or more points vs. Washington St. (101), 3/6/97
1997-98 USC Womenís Basketball Season Highs
Kim Clark ó #10
Kristin Clark ó #32
Whitney Houser ó #42
Shannon Kartz ó #32
Kiyoko Miller ó #20
Kristin Clark ó #32
Jodi Parriott ó #45
Adria Sneed ó #44
Tiffany Washington ó #40
Adrain Williams ó #30