Women's Hoops Finishes Pac-10 Home Season
Feb. 24, 1998
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's basketball team (10-13 overall, 5-9 in the Pacific-10 Conference), under first-year head coach Chris Gobrecht and coming off an 87-73 loss to UCLA last Saturday, concludes the home portion of its Pac-10 schedule by hosting Washington (17-7, 8-7) on Friday (Feb. 27) at 7 p.m. and Washington State (11-13, 5-10) on Sunday (March 1) at 2 p.m. Gobrecht, who coached at Washington for 11 years (1986-96), will face her former team in Los Angeles for the first time. Earlier in the season, Gobrecht revisited her old stomping grounds in Seattle and suffered a tough 67-60 loss, on Jan. 31. Despite coming off of a 20-9 season, the USC team Gobrecht inherited lost a deep senior class and has suffered through a tremendous amount of injuries this season. In spite of 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.
FRIDAY NIGHT SPECIAL - During halftime of Friday's game against Washington, USC will honor Trojan basketball greats Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson for their efforts in leading the Houston Comets to the first-ever WNBA championship. Both will be on hand at the game against the Huskies for a halftime ceremony.
ON THE AIR - The USC-Washington game will be televised by FOX Sports West 2 on a tape-delay basis. It will air on Saturday (Feb. 28) at 5 p.m.
RANKINGS - Washington was ranked No. 21 in both the AP poll and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll as of last week. Neither USC or Washington State are ranked.
WASHINGTON - The Huskies, under second-year coach June Daugherty, have gone 7-7 since opening the season 10-0, but have won 5 of their last 7. Junior guard Jamie Redd leads Washington in points per game (19.0, third in the Pac-10) while junior forward Amber Hall leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (11.2) and is scoring 17.4 points per game. Hall is the only player in the conference averaging more than 10 rebounds per game, but not far behind her in the standings is senior center Gena Pelz, who is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game. Strong play on the boards has been essential for Washington, which is eighth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.386). The Huskies average a league high 44.2 rebounds per game and also are second in the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made per game (5.5). Washington is one of only 2 Pac-10 schools that enjoys a winning record against USC, mainly due to Gobrecht's work with the Huskies (she was 12-8 against her current team). Washington owns a 14-9 lead in the series and has won 7 of the last 8. The Huskies last won in Los Angeles on March 8, 1997, 71-66.
WASHINGTON STATE - The Cougars, under 16th-year coach Harold Rhodes, have lost 6 of 8 and, but earned a split last weekend against the Bay Area schools. Washington State is led by senior center Yvonne Kunze's 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Alke Dietel is scoring 12.6 points per game and has a team-high 17 blocks. Like USC, Washington State has had trouble on the boards and is last in the conference in offensive rebounds per game (11.7). The Cougars, however, lead the Pac-10 in 3-pointers made per game (5.7). USC enjoys a 17-7 lead in the series with Washington State and has a 4-game winning streak. Last year, the Women of Troy beat the Cougars in Los Angeles, 101-59, on March 6. The last time USC lost to Washington State in Los Angeles was Jan. 7, 1996, 90-86.
PROBABLE STARTERS: USC (10-13, 5-9) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 40 Tiffany Washington F 6-2 So. 9.2 6.0 22 Tashara Carter F 6-0 Fr. 7.0 4.9 30 Adrain Williams C 6-4 Jr. 11.9 7.0 10 Kim Clark G 5-7 So. 9.3 2.1** 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 Jr. 15.8 2.8** Washington (17-7, 8-7) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 23 Amber Hall F 6-1 Jr. 17.4 11.2 24 Molly Hills F 5-9 Jr. 5.8 3.2 22 Gena Pelz C 6-2 Sr. 7.2 7.4 11 Jamie Redd G 5-10 Jr. 19.0 6.3 32 Megan Franza G 5-10 Fr. 7.2 2.0 Washington St. (11-13, 5-10) Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 12 Alke Dietel F 6-4 Fr. 12.6 4.4 32 Doreen Evans F 5-11 Sr. 3.1 3.6 44 Yvonne Kunz C 6-4 Sr. 14.0 6.9 20 Katie Nyseth G 5-3 Fr. 1.7 1.3 22 Tricia Lamb G 5-11 Fr. 9.7 3.8 *assist average **steals average
USC'S FIRST 1998 MEETING WITH WASHINGTON AND WASHINGTON STATE - USC took a split out of the state of Washington, defeating Washington State, 57-48, on Jan. 29 before falling to Washington, 67-60, on Jan. 31, in a game that saw USC Coach Chris Gobrecht make her first return to the university where she coached from 1986-96. In the win over the Cougars, USC shot just 27.8 percent from the field but still earned its first road win of the year. The Women of Troy were aided by a 51-40 rebounding edge and only 14 turnovers to the Cougars' 24. Junior guard Kristin Clark scored a game-high 18 points, junior center Adrain Williams had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and sophomore forward Tiffany Washington just missed a double-double with 8 points and 10 boards. USC took a 10-point lead in the second half before Washington State cut it to 5, 49-44, with 56 seconds left. The Women of Troy then hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final minute, as well as a last-second lay-up by Clark. In Seattle, Gobrecht returned to Hec Edmundson Pavilion to a standing ovation, but the hospitality ended there. The Huskies opened the game with an 8-0 run and led by as many as 17 points at 27-10 with 6:33 to go in the first half. USC responded with an 8-0 of its own and a Kiyoko Miller jumper with 1:03 left got USC to within 34-29 at the half. A 14-5 run to open the second half gave USC a 43-39 lead and the Women of Troy led 51-47 with 8:05 left to play. USC still led 56-55 with 3:37 to go and was tied at 58-58 a minute later. The Huskies, however, dominated the boards the rest of the way, outscoring the Women of Troy 9-2 to end the game.
LAST WEEK - USC fell to UCLA, 87-73, on Saturday (Feb. 21) at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. Combined with an earlier loss to the Bruins, it marked the first time the Women of Troy were swept in a season series by their crosstown rivals since the 1989-90 season. USC was led by a career-high-tying 24 points from junior center Adrain Williams, who also added 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Junior guard Kristin Clark scored 20 points and sophomore forward Tiffany Washington and sophomore guard Kiyoko Miller added 10 points apiece. USC led early in the first half and led by as many as 7 points at one point in the first half. But the Bruins, behind the play of sophomore center Maylana Martin, who scored 24 points, surged late and took a 46-40 lead into halftime. The Bruins quickly opened a double-digit lead in the second half and matched every USC spurt with one of their own. The Women of Troy never got closer than 9 points after trailing in double-digits.
TURNED OVER - USC's turnovers are down from a year ago as it is averaging 18.7 turnovers, compared to 21.2 last season. USC is also forcing more turnovers. Opponents are averaging 24.8 this year compared to 22.7 last year. USC has had less turnovers than its opponents in 19 of 23 games. USC is 10-9 in games when it has less turnovers than its opponents and 0-4 when it has more. On the year, USC has 142 less turnovers than its opponents (429-571).
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING - As a team, USC is averaging 11.3 steals per game, 1.1 better than the 1996-97 average of 10.2. Kristin Clark leads USC with 2.8 steals per game, while Kim Clark is averaging 2.1, Adrain Williams is averaging 1.8 and Tashara Carter 1.7. Overall, USC has 261 steals compared to 194 for its opposition.
IN OUR DEFENSE - USC Coach Chris Gobrecht's defensive emphasis is paying big dividends. USC's turnover margin (6.1) leads the league, its scoring defense is third (67.0) and its team steals (11.4) are fourth.
WHERE's the 3-point line? - The Women of Troy have shackled opponents from long range. USC is allowing only 2.0 makes from 3-point land in 6.3 attempts per game. Last season, opponents averaged 4.9 makes in 15.9 attempts. In fact, USC's Kristin Clark is 43-of-142 from 3-point land compared to 47-of-145 for USC's opponents. In the Pac-10, Clark has 30 treys to USC's opponents' 31.
Clark climbing the RECORD ladder - USC junior guard Kristin Clark's 43 treys are a career best for a season, as are her 142 attempts. She needs 14 3-pointers in 4 games to break USC's all-time season record, held by Tammy Story with 56 in 1991. Clark needs only 2 to pass second-place Karon Howell, who had 44 in 1988. For her career, Clark is USC's third all-time leading 3-point shooter with 91 makes. She trails only Jody Anton (103) and Story (110). Her 142 3-point attempts on the season leave her only 2 short of breaking Story's season record of 143 in the 1991 season.
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 52 games. In fact, because of injuries and other reasons, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht has been forced to use 10 different starting lineups in 22 games, although the lineup of guards Clark and Kiyoko Miller, forwards Tashara Carter and Tiffany Washington and center Adrain Williams has started 10 of the last 16 games. The only USC players not to have made a start this year are Jodi Parriott, who is out for the year after playing in only 2 games, and walk-on Rachel Whitlow, who has played in only 3 games.
FIND THE MAP HOME - USC is 2-7 on the road so far this year. USC is also 3-2 at neutral sites (5-9 overall) when away from USC. After opening the Pac-10 season with 5 of its first 7 games at home at the Lyon Center, USC is finishing with 5 of its last 7 on the road.
WONDER TWINS - 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. The Clarks have started together 7 times, most recently at UCLA and USC is 3-4 in those games. The Clarks' highest combined scoring output is 31 points, against Oregon State on Feb. 6 when Kim had 16 and Kristin had 15.
season finishes - USC needs wins in its final 4 games to avoid its sixth losing season in the program's history (beginning when scholarships were first given out in 1976-77). USC has finished above .500 16 times. The Women of Troy need 3 wins in their final 4 games to avoid their lowest win total since earning only 8 wins under Marianne Stanley in the 1989-90 season. USC's last losing season came in 1995-96 when the Women of Troy finished 13-14 under Fred Williams. USC has had only 3 losing seasons in the last 19 years.
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.
Wipe away that streak - USC's loss to Stanford on Jan. 16 gave it a 4-game losing streak 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 downed Marianne Stanley-coached California on Jan. 18, 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 worst in school history. The Women of Troy's 4-game Pac-10 loss streak was actually a dubious first. USC had 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.
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.
JUICY LITTLE TIDBITS - USC's .278 field goal percentage (20-of-72) in its win at Washington State (1/29) marked the Women of Troy's worst shooting effort ever in a victory. The previous worst was in a 47-45 win at Oregon (1/8/94) when USC shot .279 (19-of-68). In addition, the combined 36-point first-half total (18-18) from the Wazzou game is the lowest in school history. USC's 57-point win total against Washington State was also 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 had more than 10 until the second Washington State game when Williams had 12. Washington has also eclipsed the barrier with 11 in the second Oregon game . . . USC has held opponents to 61 or less points 10 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 16 times in 23 games, compared to only 8 times all of last season . . . In USC's first 14 Pac-10 games, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht has used 9 players 3 times, 8 players 8 times and 7 players 3 times . . . USC has yet to make more than 50 percent of its field goals in a game this year. Its high is .473 in a loss to Boise State (12/21) . . . Kristin Clark's 13 3-point attempts vs. UCLA (1/23) tied a USC record held by Karon Howell (2/3/89 vs. Oregon) . . . Clark has led USC in scoring in 14 of 23 games . . . Oregon State's 30 fouls against USC (2/6) tied for the fourth-most opponent fouls ever in a game. USC's reserves scored 52 of its 80 points in the win over Oregon State . . . USC's 19 rebounds against Stanford (2/14) were an all-time low for a game. The previous low was 20 against San Diego State on Dec. 3, 1990 . . . USC's 4 assists at UCLA (2/21) tied for the second-lowest output ever in that category and the lowest since getting 4 against Texas in 1990. USC's 73 points in the game was its highest score in a loss this season.
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 severe injury problems. 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 in 16 of the last 18 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 will miss the remainder of the season. Mashia, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, is out for 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 severe knee sprain. Sister Kim Clark, a 2-sport athlete and a sophomore guard, started 5 of USC's first 7 games before a back injury kept her out of 11 straight games. She was finally cleared to play and ended 6 weeks of inactivity by playing against the Oregon schools and has played in the last 5 games, starting the last 2. Clark didn't even 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. Fellow 2-sport athlete Antoinette Polk, a starter on the 1997 USC women's volleyball team who was 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 and has battled the injury all season, playing through the pain. Freshman forward Whitney Houser bruised her back in the second half of the Oregon game and only played 8 minutes, but has been able to play since. Freshman forward Tashara Carter suffered a sprained toe at Washington State, but, with the aid of a splint, started at Washington and scored a career-high 17 points. The latest victim is sophomore forward Tiffany Washington, who earlier this year suffered an ankle sprain against Rutgers and resprained the same ankle at Oregon State. Against Oregon on Feb. 8, Washington collided with Oregon freshman Lindsey Dion, head-to-head. Washington suffered a 2-inch long gash above her right eyebrow that required 11 stitches. She came back to play 14 minutes at California and has started the last 2 games.