Women's Basketball
    USC Guard Cleared to Play after Missing Two Years

    May 26, 1998

    LOS ANGELES - USC Women of Troy point guard Erica Mashia, an All-Pac-10 Freshman team performer in 1996 who missed the last two seasons with a severe hip injury, has been cleared to play in the 1998-99 season, USC Coach Chris Gobrecht announced today.

    "I consider it almost a miracle", Gobrecht said. "This came as a complete surprise and is a tribute to Erica's tenacity and unyielding faith that she would play again."

    Mashia, who prepped at Jefferson High in Portland, Ore., suffered the hip injury at the end of her freshman season and reaggravated it before the start of the 1996-97 season, forcing her to sit out the year. She hoped to return in 1997-98, but the injury lingered, kept her out a second season and appeared to end her career.

    Mashia, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, averaged 11.8 points as a freshman in 1996, second highest on the team. She also averaged a team-best 3.2 assists per game and scored in double figures 18 times.

    For the year, Mashia made 65-of-77 free throws (84.4%) and 38-of-87 three-point attempts (43.7%), both USC season percentage records. She also set a Pac-10 and USC record for consecutive free throws made (33).

    Depleted by graduation and injuries, USC finished 12-15 this past season. The Women of Troy, however, lose only one player from last year's squad and welcome four recruits plus Mashia into the mix for the 1998-99 season.