Jan. 13, 1998
USC Set to Host Bay Area Rivals
Trojans Play Stanford and California at Lyon Center
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's basketball team (6-7 overall, 1-3 in the Pacific-10 Conference), under first-year head coach Chris Gobrecht, returns home after a trip to Oregon to take on familiar Northern California foes Stanford and California. The Women of Troy host the Cardinal (6-5, 3-1) on Friday (Jan. 16) at 7 p.m. and the Bears (5-8, 1-2) on Sunday (Jan. 18) at 2 p.m. Both games are at the Lyon Center. USC, which has had 4 players miss a combined 31 games and another give up the sport before the season began, hoped to be healthy by the beginning of the Pac-10 season, but a variety of ailments has kept the team banged up as it enters the third week of the conference season. Despite the problems, Gobrecht has the shorthanded Women of Troy among the league's top defensive teams in her first year back in the Pac-10.
TELEVISION -- The USC-Stanford game on Friday night will be televised live by FOX Sports West 2. Tom Kelly and Kelly Blackburn will call the action.
RANKINGS -- Stanford is No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. USC and California are not ranked.
STANFORD -- The Cardinal, under 12th-year coach Tara VanDerveer, had its 48-game Pac-10 winning streak snapped on Monday (Jan. 12), falling to Arizona, 91-90, in Tucson, on a last-second shot. It was Stanford's first loss since a Feb. 9, 1995, defeat to Oregon State. It drops Stanford to 6-5, matching its loss total for the previous 2 seasons combined. But despite the losses of Stanford staples Kate Starbird and Jamila Wideman, the Cardinal is still a major force to be reckoned with in the Pac-10. Senior forward Olympia Scott is averaging a team-high 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while senior forward Vanessa Nygaard is scoring 14.9 points per game. All-American volleyballer Kristin Folkl has joined the basketball team for her third season and is averaging 16.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in her first 5 games. USC is 15-19 against Stanford since 1979 but has lost 7 in a row and 18 of the last 20. From 1981-88, USC won 13 in a row. USC Coach Chris Gobrecht fared a bit better against Stanford during her tenure at Cal State Fullerton and Washington and is 13-16 vs. Stanford since 1981-82.
CALIFORNIA -- The Golden Bears, headed by second-year coach Marianne Stanley, have lost 4 of their last 5 games, including their most recent meeting with Stanford on Oct. 9. Freshman guard Masa Radovic is scoring a team-best 11.0 points per game while senior forward Amber Lacey is averaging 10.2 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game. Unlike the Women of Troy, California has maintained solid consistency in its starting lineup as Radovic, Lacey, sophomore forward Paige Bowie and junior center Jennie Leander have started all 13 of the Bears' games. Freshman guard Courtney Johnson has also started 9 times. California's struggles from the field, however, are similar to USC's. The Bears are shooting just 40.1% from the field and 15.4% from 3-point range. USC has won 9 in a row over California and is 20-8 against the Bears overall. The Women of Troy last lost to the Bears, 68-55, on Jan. 21, 1993, in Berkeley. USC last lost to California at home, 55-50, on Jan. 18, 1990. Stanley, the former USC coach, returns for the second time to the Lyon Center. She was 71-46 with the Women of Troy between 1990-93 and went to 3 NCAA Tournaments.
PROBABLE STARTERS: USC (6-7, 1-3) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 40 Tiffany Washington F 6-2 So. 10.7 6.5 22 Tashara Carter F 6-0 Fr. 6.0 5.0 30 Adrain Williams C 6-4 Jr. 10.5 6.2 20 Kiyoko Miller G 5-8 So. 7.3 2.1** 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 Jr. 15.2 3.2** Stanford (6-5, 3-1) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 0 Olympia Scott F 6-2 Sr. 18.7 8.0 13 Vanessa Nygaard F 6-1 Sr. 14.9 6.9 44 Heather Owen C 6-4 Sr. 11.4 4.6 20 Milena Flores G 5-6 So. 10.5 6.6* 4 Melody Peterson G 5-9 So. 11.2 3.5 California (5-8, 1-2) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 33 Paige Bowie F 5-11 So. 9.8 3.5 42 Amber Lacey F 6-0 Sr. 10.2 7.0 50 Jennie Leander C 6-3 Jr. 9.6 6.3 3 Masa Radovic G 6-1 Fr. 11.0 2.9 10 Courtney Johnson G 5-8 Fr. 4.7 4.6 *assist average **steals average
LAST WEEK -- The Women of Troy, hampered by injuries and using only 8 players in each game, suffered a pair of tough road losses to Oregon and Oregon State in their first Pac-10 road trip of the year. They fell, 79-65, to the Ducks in Eugene on Jan. 8 and lost, 57-52, to the Beavers in Corvallis on Jan. 10. Against the Ducks, USC shot just 41.8 percent compared to Oregon's 52.7 percent. The game was tied, 27-27, with just more than 4 minutes left in the first half, but the Ducks went on a 15-6 run in the final minutes and took a 42-33 lead at the break. In the second half, USC couldn't get any closer than 7 points. Junior guard Kristin Clark and sophomore forward Tiffany Washington each had 19 points for the Women of Troy, but Oregon's Brianne Meharry had a career-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. USC looked like it might salvage a split out of the weekend, but fell victim to a late Oregon State comeback. The Women of Troy, paced by 17 points from junior center Adrain Williams and 11 points from Clark, led by as many as 14 points in the first half before taking a 30-20 lead into the break. USC, however, made only 7-of-28 shots in the second half and the Beavers whittled the lead away. The Women of Troy still led, 52-50, with less than a minute to go when Oregon State center Sissell Pierce rebounded a missed shot and scored. She was also fouled on the play and made the consequent free throw, giving the Beavers a 53-52 lead -- their first of the game -- with 51.5 seconds to play. USC had 3 possessions after, but couldn't convert on any of them.
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING -- As a team, USC is averaging 12.6 steals per game, 2.4 more per game compared to the 1996-97 average of 10.2. Kristin Clark leads the team with 3.2 steals per game and Kiyoko Miller and Adrain Williams join Clark in the Pac-10's Top 10 in that category. Overall, USC has 164 steals compared to 110 for its opposition.
TURNED OVER -- USC's turnovers are down from a year ago as it is averaging 19.1 turnovers, compared to 21.2 last season. USC is also forcing more turnovers. Opponents are averaging 25.1 this year compared to 22.7 last year. USC has had less turnovers than its opponents in 10 of its first 13 games.
IN OUR DEFENSE -- USC Coach Chris Gobrecht's defensive emphasis is already paying big dividends. USC's turnover margin (6.0) and team steals (12.6) are tops in the Pac-10 and its scoring defense (65.2) is second.
Streaking (the wrong way) -- The Women of Troy have lost 3 Pac-10 games in a row and will try to avoid losing 4 consecutive Pac-10 games in the same season for the first time ever. USC has lost 4 consecutive Pac-10 games before, the last time coming in the last 2 games of the 1995 Pac-10 schedule and the first 2 games of the 1996 conference season. USC has never lost 5 Pac-10 games in a row.
At the starting LINE -- Of USC's 11 players, 8 have started at least once. Kristin Clark is the only player who has started every game and she has started USC's last 42 games. In fact, because of injuries and other reasons, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht has been forced to use 7 different starting lineups in 13 games, although the lineup of guards Clark and Kiyoko Miller, forwards Tashara Carter and Tiffany Washington and center Adrain Williams has started 5 of the last 6 games.
FIND THE MAP HOME -- USC is 0-4 on the road so far this year, 3-2 at neutral sites and 3-6 overall when away from USC. Going back to last year, USC hasn't beat a team on its home court since downing Oregon State last year on March 1.
Mirror, mirror -- 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.
PLAQUES AND SUCH -- Adrain Williams and Tiffany Washington earned All-Tournament honors at the Boise State Christmas Classic. Kristin Clark earned both Dial Soap Classic and Pac-10/Big East Challenge All-Tournament honors.
THE WALKING WOUNDED -- 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 -- junior forward/center Adrain Williams, junior forward Jodi Parriott and sophomore guard Erica Mashia -- were the biggest blows. Williams missed almost all of the preseason with a foot injury before getting in a few minutes in USC's final exhibition game. A projected starter, she was a reserve in USC's first 5 games, finally starting both games at the Boise State Christmas Classic (Dec. 20-21). She has started the last 8 games. Parriott had knee surgery in July, missing all of the preseason. She saw a few minutes in 2 games this season, against Rutgers (Dec. 28) and Arizona State (Jan. 2), but the knee is still bothering her and she is out indefinitely. Mashia, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, will miss the 1997-98 season as well with the same injury. Banged up but playing through the pain is starting junior guard Kristin Clark. She suffered a broken toe before USC's exhibition opener and broke her nose in practice. She is also playing with a knee sprain. Sister Kim Clark, a 2-sport athlete and a sophomore guard, didn't begin participating with the basketball team until the beginning of the regular season. One of the top women's soccer players on the West Coast, Clark didn't finish soccer season until November. Ironically, it was Kim, in her first basketball practice back, who broke Kristin's nose during a scrimmage. Despite missing the preseason, Kim started 5 of USC's first 7 games, but a back injury suffered at Boise State forced her to miss the last 6 games and will likely keep her out at least another week. She will be reevaluated next week. Fellow 2-sport athlete Antoinette Polk, a starter on the 1997 USC women's volleyball team and the 1997 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, was a reserve guard last year. She has decided, however, to give up basketball to concentrate on volleyball. Sophomore guard Kiyoko Miller had to miss the San Diego State game because of a shoulder injury suffered against Coppin State, but has been able to play since then. Freshman forward Whitney Houser bruised her back in the second half of the Oregon game and only played 8 minutes, but was able to play against Oregon State. Sophomore forward Tiffany Washington suffered an ankle sprain against Rutgers and resprained the same foot at Oregon State, but is expected to play this weekend.
CHRIS GOBRECHT -- 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 338-210 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 -- Joining Gobrecht on the new staff are first-year coaches Stacy McIntyre (Kentucky '94), Erika Lang-Montgomery (Florida '95) and Traci Nemechek (Metropolitan State College at Denver '87).
KRISTIN CLARK -- 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) is in her second year as a starting guard for the Women of Troy. A solid ball-handler and outside shooter who is USC's leading scorer (15.2), 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. She currently leads the Pac-10 in steals at 3.2 per game and has had at least 2 steals in 11 of 13 games. Clark, who has scored in double figures in 11 of 13 games, earned All-Tournament honors at both the Dial Soap Classic at Lawrence, Kan. and at the Pac-10/Big East Challenge at UCLA. She scored a career-high 30 points on 12-of-19 field goals and had 6 steals against Seton Hall (12/27). She had 22 points, a career-high 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals against Arizona (1/4). At Kansas, she scored a combined 28 points and dished out 8 assists, scoring 15 against Coppin State (12/7). She scored 19 points at Oregon (1/8). She opened the USC season against Long Beach State (11/25) by scoring a game-high 15 points to go along with 6 assists and 5 steals. She had 15 points again vs. San Diego State (12/13) to go along with 6 steals. 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 set a USC record by making 6-of-7 3-pointers against Washington State last season.
ADRAIN WILLIAMS -- Adrain Williams, a junior center, has seen 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 has been most valuable to the Women of Troy in the paint where her rebounding and scoring are helping take up much of the slack left by departed seniors Tina Thompson and Michelle Campbell. She spent all of the preseason recovering from a foot injury, but has started the last 8 games. She earned All-Tournament honors at the Boise State Christmas Classic. She scored a combined 32 points and had 19 rebounds, including a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds against Cal State Northridge (12/20). Williams is USC's top shot-blocker (0.9), second-leading rebounder (6.2) and the third-leading scorer (10.5). She scored 17 points and had 7 rebounds against Coppin State (12/7) in the Dial Soap Classic and had 17 points and 3 steals at Oregon State (1/10). In USC's opener against Long Beach State (11/25), Williams scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. She had 12 points vs. Arizona (1/4), had 10 points and 6 rebounds against Grambling State (12/6) and 10 rebounds, 2 blocks and a career-high 6 steals vs. Arizona State (1/2). 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). She posted the best game of her USC career against Colorado State (12/13) with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
JODI PARRIOTT -- A versatile forward, 1997-98 junior Jodi Parriott made her season debut against Rutgers (12/29), playing 7 minutes, making 1-of-2 shots (both 3-pointers) and getting a pair of steals. She also saw action in USC's Pac-10 opener vs. Arizona State (1/2), making 2-of-2 free throws in 5 minutes. Parriott, however, who missed all of the preseason and USC's first 8 games while recovering from summer knee surgery, is still experiencing problems with the knee and is out indefinitely. After starting for most of the 1996-97 season, Parriott, who creates mismatches for defenses, was to start at either forward positions in 1997-98. USC's 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).
TIFFANY WASHINGTON -- 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 USC's second-leading scorer (10.7) and leading rebounder (6.5), starting 12 of 13 games, despite nursing a sprained ankle she suffered in the Rutgers game (12/28). She reaggravated the injury at Oregon State (1/10) but is expected to play this weekend. Washington earned All-Tournament honors at the Boise State Christmas Classic, scoring a combined 37 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Against the Broncos in the tournament finale (12/21), she posted a career-high 21 points, which followed a 16-point, 9-rebound effort against Cal State Northridge (12/20). At Oregon (1/8), she scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Washington 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 had her second double-double against San Diego State (12/13) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She made her first career start against Long Beach State (11/25), scoring 12 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and getting a career-high 6 steals. 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.
KIM CLARK -- A scrappy player who brings darting quickness and aggressive play to every game, 1997-98 sophomore guard Kim Clark looked to be a good fit in Coach Chris Gobrecht's defense-oriented style of play and saw her time increase this year. But Clark, who started 5 of USC first 7 games, suffered a back injury at Boise State (12/21) that forced her to miss USC's last 6 games and will likely keep her out at least another week. She posted a career-high 16 points against Boise State (12/21) in the game in which she was injured, making 3-of-7 3-point attempts and getting 4 steals. She is averaging 8.6 points per game and has made 8-of-19 3-point attempts on the season. She scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting vs. San Diego State (12/13). In USC's season opener against Long Beach State (11/25), she scored 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 had a career-high 5 steals vs. Cal State Northridge (12/20). 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. Clark played in 17 games on the season, averaging 8.4 minutes per game. A 2-sport athlete, Clark was a third team All-American and garnered All-Pac-10 and All-West Region first-team honors as a midfielder on the USC soccer team in 1997. She was USC's leading scorer with 43 points (13 goals, 17 assists) and is considered one of the nation's top players.
KIYOKO MILLER -- A fine outside shooter and all-around player, Kiyoko Miller has seen time at both guard positions as a 1997-98 sophomore, starting in 9 of her 12 games. Against Arizona State (1/2), Miller posted career highs in points (12), field goals (6), assists (5) and minutes (38). At UC Santa Barbara (12/4), she scored 10 points and had 4 steals. She had a career-high 5 steals vs. Coppin State (12/7) and has 25 overall. At Oregon State (1/10), she had a career-high 6 rebounds and 3 steals. She had 9 points and 5 steals against Seton Hall (12/27). She missed the San Diego State game (12/13) while resting a sore shoulder injured against Coppin State. At the Boise State Christmas Classic, she scored a combined 12 points, including 8-of-8 from the foul line. In fact, Miller made 10 free throws in a row at one point this season. 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 positions.
WHITNEY HOUSER -- Whitney Houser has been much more than a pleasant surprise as a 1997-98 freshman forward. A 6-time starter already, she is USC's fifth-leading scorer (8.3) and is averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. She is second on the team in blocked shots (5) and is also the only USC player shooting at least 50% (47-of-93). Houser played only 8 minutes at Oregon (1/8) because of a bruised back but came back against Oregon State (1/10) and scored 9 points. She posted her first career double-double with career highs in points (15) and rebounds (10) against Rutgers (12/28), making 6-of-7 shots. 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 matched that vs. Arizona (1/4), scoring 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with a pair of blocks. She scored 12 points at UC Santa Barbara (12/4). Against Coppin State (12/7), she had 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 -- 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 has started 11 games, gives the Women of Troy's offense another option. She posted her first career double-double against Arizona State (1/2) with career highs in points (12) and rebounds (10 -- 8 offensive). Carter, USC's third-leading rebounder (5.0), had 11 points against Seton Hall (12/27) and had 5 steals. 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 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 -- The only senior for the 1997-98 Women of Troy, Shannon Kartz adds depth at the 2-guard and a lot of hustle all over the court. She has returned to the team after a year off spent concentrating on academics. Kartz started the second game of her career against Coppin State (12/7). She has played in 12 of 13 games, averaging 11.8 minutes and 1.5 points per game. She posted a career-high 8 points vs. Arizona State (1/2) on 3-of-5 shooting and 2 free throws.
ADRIA SNEED -- Adria Sneed, who transferred from Ventura (Calif.) College, has seen time at the small and power forward positions as a 1997-98 junior. She saw her most action of the season at the Pac-10/Big East Challenge in Westwood, scoring 8 points against Rutgers (12/28) and 6 against Seton Hall (12/27). She is averaging 2.6 points per game in 10 appearances, averaging 9.1 minutes per game. 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.
ERICA MASHIA -- 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 -- 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 has appeared in 3 games, scoring 2 points in 6 minutes. She wears No. 21.
HOMESTAND -- After finishing a stretch of playing 7 of 8 games on the road, USC has opened the Pac-10 season with 5 of its first 7 conference games at home at the Lyon Center.
SCHEDULE -- 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. USC is currently 0-2 against that group with a loss to the Wildcats (1/4) and the Ducks (1/8).
CONGRATULATIONS -- USC assistant coach Erika Lang was married over Thanksgiving weekend to Larry Montgomery. Her new surname is Lang-Montgomery.
NEXT YEAR -- 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.