Feb. 16, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Ebony Hoffman scored 25 points and collected 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the USC women's basketball team fell to No. 24 Arizona, 78-64, on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,002 at the Sports Arena. With the loss, the Women of Troy drop to 12-13 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-10, while the Wildcats improve to 17-7, 10-5 in conference play.
Arizona guard Dee-Dee Wheeler scored nine points in the final five minutes of the game to lead Arizona on a 16-2 run that broke a 62-62 tie and gave the Wildcats the 14-point victory over the Trojans.
USC was forced to battle back from a 24-8 deficit at the start of the game. With 11:14 on the clock, the Women of Troy began to climb back. The Trojans countered Arizona's five three-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the game with five of their own to help them enter the break down by only five, 34-29.
At the start of the second half, Hoffman hit her first two field goals and a free throw to tie the score, 34-34 at 18:33. USC took its first lead on the ensuing play, 36-34, and embarked on a 13-4 run to build an 11-point lead, 49-38, with 12:28 remaining.
The Wildcats chipped away at the Trojans' lead and regained the advantage at 7:53 , 57-56. The two teams alternated with the lead over the next three minutes until Arizona began its final run.
The Women of Troy were led by Hoffman and guard Rometra Craig (15 points). Arizona was led by Wheeler (23 points), Julie Brase (20 points) and Shawntinice Polk (14 points, 9 rebounds). Polk left the game with seconds remaining at the end of the first half with an ankle injury. She missed the first eight minutes of the second half before returning the floor.
The Women of Troy travel to the Bay Area this week to face Stanford on Thursday, Feb. 20, and California on Saturday, Feb. 22.