Jan. 20, 1998
USC Set to Host Crosstown Rival
UCLA Comes to Lyon Center on Friday
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's basketball team (7-8 overall, 2-4 in the Pacific-10 Conference), under first-year head coach Chris Gobrecht and coming off a win over California and a loss to Stanford, hosts UCLA (9-6, 4-2) on Friday (Jan. 23) at the Lyon Center at 7 p.m. USC, which has had 4 players miss a combined 39 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 nears the midway point of the conference schedule. 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.
RANKINGS -- Neither USC or UCLA are ranked.
UCLA -- The Bruins, under fifth-year coach Kathy Olivier, have won 4 of their last 5 games, but saw their 4-game winning streak stopped in their last outing against Stanford, 75-70. Sophomore forward Maylana Martin leads UCLA in both scoring (20.2) and rebounding (8.0). Sophomore guard/forward Melanie Pearson and sophomore center Janae Hubbard are also scoring in double figures. Unlike the Women of Troy, the Bruins have enjoyed a deep bench. Eleven players have played at least 10 games, compared to 8 for USC. UCLA is the second-best scoring team in the conference (80.6) and leads the league in steals (12.2) and blocked shots (3.3) but is also giving up the most points in the Pac-10 (76.0). USC swept the season series from UCLA last year and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Women of Troy, who own a 28-22 lead in the series, last lost to the Bruins on Feb. 24, 1996, 80-64. The last time USC lost to UCLA at the Lyon Center was March 8, 1991, 83-79.
LAST WEEK -- USC earned a split in the recent weekend of play at the Lyon Center, falling 89-55 to Stanford on Jan. 16 but beating California, 59-50, on Jan. 18. The win over the Bears snapped a 4-game losing streak. USC's loss to the Cardinal was its worst of the season. The Women of Troy got 20 points from junior guard Kristin Clark and 10 from freshman forward Tashara Carter, but were outshot by the Cardinal .611 to .327. Stanford also enjoyed a 42-23 rebounding advantage. The Cardinal led 47-21 at halftime and led by as many as 42 points at 71-29 with 8:24 left in the second half. The Women of Troy, in danger of posting one of their lowest scoring outputs ever, scored 26 points in the game's final 8 minutes to stay out of the record books. USC bounced back 2 days later against California, increasing the defensive pressure. The Women of Troy, led by Clark's 17 points and junior center Adrain Williams' 16 points and 10 rebounds, forced the Bears into 27 turnovers while committing only 11 themselves. USC led for much of the first half but a late California run helped it to a 32-30 halftime lead. The Women of Troy, who held the Bears to only .286 shooting from the floor in the second half, took the lead for good at 38-37 with 12:06 to play. USC, which also got a career-high 10 rebounds from junior forward Adria Sneed in her first career start, held Cal without a field goal from the 15:15 mark to the 2:20 mark as it took control of the game.
Who's hot in the last 4 Junior guard Kristin Clark continues to be USC's most consistent performer. She is averaging 16.8 points, 2.5 steals and 4.0 assists in the last 4 games and has gone to the free throw line more than any other player (33 times). Sophomore forward Tiffany Washington and junior center Adrain Williams are both averaging 10.5 points per game while Williams is averaging a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game.
PROBABLE STARTERS: USC (7-8, 2-4) Pos. Ht.Yr. PPG RPG 40 Tiffany Washington F 6-2 So. 10.3 6.2 22 Tashara Carter F 6-0 Fr. 6.2 5.1 30 Adrain Williams C 6-4 Jr. 10.2 6.3 20 Kiyoko Miller G 5-8 So. 7.2 2.1** 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 Jr. 15.6 3.1** UCLA (9-6, 4-2) Pos. Ht.Yr. PPG RPG 13 Maylana Martin F 6-3 So. 20.2 8.0 35 Aisha Veasley F 5-9 Sr. 6.0 4.4 34 Janae Hubbard C 6-4 So. 10.3 5.9 5 Marie Philman G 6-0 So. 9.6 3.1 10 Erica Gomez G 5-9 So. 6.9 5.3* *assist average **steals average
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING -- As a team, USC is averaging 11.9 steals per game, almost 2 more per game compared to the 1996-97 average of 10.2. Kristin Clark leads the team with 3.1 steals per game while Kiyoko Miller joins Clark in the Pac-10's Top 10 in that category at 2.0. Overall, USC has 179 steals compared to 123 for its opposition.
TURNED OVER -- USC's turnovers are down from a year ago as it is averaging 18.5 turnovers, compared to 21.2 last season. USC is also forcing more turnovers. Opponents are averaging 25.2 this year compared to 22.7 last year. USC has had less turnovers than its opponents in 12 of 15 games and has 100 less on the season (278-378).
IN OUR DEFENSE -- USC Coach Chris Gobrecht's defensive emphasis is already paying big dividends. USC's turnover margin (6.7) and scoring defense (65.8) are both tops in the Pac-10 while its team steals (11.9) is fifth, but less than a half a steal per game out of first.
WIPE AWAY THAT STREAK -- USC's loss to Stanford on Jan. 16 was its fourth consecutive defeat and put the Women of Troy in danger of losing its fifth in a row for the first time since dropping 7 straight in the 1989-90 season. Fortunately, USC, in its last game on Jan. 18, downed Marianne Stanley-coached California, snapping the streak. Interestingly, it was Stanley, in her first season as the coach of USC, who was at the helm during the 7-game loss streak. The Women of Troy's 4-game Pac-10 loss streak was actually a dubious first. USC has lost 4 consecutive Pac-10 games before, but never in the same season. The last time USC lost 4 in a row at any time in the Pac-10 came 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, 9 have started at least once. Kristin Clark is the only player who has started every game and she has started USC's last 44 games. In fact, because of injuries and other reasons, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht has been forced to use 8 different starting lineups in 15 games, although the lineup of guards Clark and Kiyoko Miller, forwards Tashara Carter and Tiffany Washington and center Adrain Williams has started 6 of the last 8 games. The only USC players not to have made a start this year are Jodi Parriott, who has missed all but 2 games because of a knee injury, and walk-on Rachel Whitlow.
FIND THE MAP HOME -- USC is 0-4 on the road so far this year and 3-2 at neutral sites (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.
COACH DOWN! -- USC's injury situation in 1997-98 has been severe. How severe? Well, not even Women of Troy coaches have been exempt. First-year assistant coach Stacy McIntyre, a former star at Kentucky, was scrimmaging in practice on Jan. 15 when she suffered a broken nose under the boards on a play with USC freshman forward Tashara Carter. McIntyre shouldn't miss any time on the sidelines, but she is listed as day-to-day for practice.
JUICY LITTLE TIDBITS -- USC's 59-point win total against California was its lowest since beating UCLA, 56-55, on Feb. 4, 1995 . . . USC has had 5 different players reach double figures in rebounds in a game (Tiffany Washington, Adrain Williams, Whitney Houser, Tashara Carter and Adria Sneed), but none of them have had more than 10 . . . USC has held opponents to 60 or less points 6 times this season . . . A sign of USC's injuries affecting its depth shows up in the amount of times Women of Troy players have fouled out this season. USC players have fouled out 11 times in 15 games compared to only 8 times all of last season . . . In USC's first 6 Pac-10 games, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht has used 9 players once, 8 players 3 times and 7 players twice.
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 9 of the last 10 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 8 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 still able to play.
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 339-211 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 (15.7), 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 can cause havoc in the backcourt. She currently leads the Pac-10 in steals at 3.1 per game and has had at least 2 steals in 13 of 15 games. Clark, who has scored in double figures in 13 of 15 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 had 20 points vs. Stanford (1/16), 19 points at Oregon (1/8) and 17 points and 5 steals vs. California (1/18). 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 9 of the last 10 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). She had her second double-double vs. California (1/18) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Williams is USC's top shot-blocker (0.8) and rebounder (6.3) and the third-leading scorer (10.2). 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 (10.3) and rebounder (6.2), starting 13 of 15 games despite nursing a sprained ankle she suffered in the Rutgers game (12/28). She reaggravated the injury at Oregon State (1/10) but has still been able to play. 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 8 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 11 of her 14 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 28 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 (7.6) and is averaging 3.7 rebounds per game. She is second on the team in blocked shots (5) and her 48.5 shooting percentage is tops on the team. 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 13 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 (5.1), had 11 points against Seton Hall (12/27) and had 5 steals. She had 10 points and a block vs. Stanford (1/16). 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 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 made her first career start against California (1/18) and made the most of it, getting a career-high 10 rebounds in only 19 minutes. She saw major time as a reserve 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 2.8 points per game in 12 appearances, averaging 10.8 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. That stretch ends with the UCLA game on Friday (1/23).
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 0-3 against that group with a loss to the Wildcats (1/4), Ducks (1/8) and Cardinal (1/16).
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.
1997-98 Pac-10 Standings (as of 1/19/98) Team Pac-10 Overall Arizona 5-1 11-3 Stanford 5-1 8-5 UCLA 4-2 9-6 Oregon 4-2 8-6 Washington 2-3 11-3 Washington State 2-3 8-6 Arizona State 2-3 6-8 USC 2-4 7-8 California 1-4 5-10 Oregon State 1-5 6-9