Women of Troy visit NIU


One of the most anticipated games of the season is just hours away when the University of Southern California takes on the Huskies tonight at Chick Evans Fieldhouse.

“It’s not everyday that Southern Cal comes to DeKalb,” commented Huskie head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle. “I would like to see the stands packed.”

In fact, this will be the first time the Women of Troy make an appearance at NIU. The teams met just once previously and that was last year. The Huskies fell 91-64.

The Huskies are welcoming the visit by USC since it gives NIU the home court advantage. Especially coming off a road trip which dropped the Huskies to 0-2 for the season.

“We need to get home in our own atmosphere,” said Albright-Dieterle. “It’s extremely important because we haven’t been shooting well on the road.”

And that may be the biggest understatement so far this season. The Huskies shot just 26 and 35 percent from the field in the first two games. But that just may be the key to a victory over highly ranked USC (22-7 last season).

“We’ve identified our weaknesses and we feel we know what we need to do now,” commented Albright-Dieterle.

The Women of Troy have yet to discover their weaknesses because NIU is their first regular season game, but still have received respect from the nation’s polls.

USC was ranked 5th by Sports Illustrated, 8th by Dick Vitale’s Basketball, 9th by College Sports, 11th by USA Today, 12th by NCAA Basketball and 13th by AP.

The major reason for the respect is 6’5″ senior forward Lisa Leslie. The two-time All-American earned USA Basketball Player of the Year honors after leading the U.S. National team in scoring and rebounding.

Leslie had 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last year for USC. After just three seasons she is sixth in scoring for USC with 1,757 points and fifth in Pac-10 scoring (since 1987).

Her 845 career rebounds have placed her fifth all time at USC and seventh in the Pac-10.

“Lisa is a tremendous player,” said Albright-Dieterle. “You owe it to yourself to come watch her and E.C. (Hill) play. Unfortunately they play different positions so you won’t see to many match-ups between them.”

“It will be a very fast paced and intense game,” said Albright-Dieterle. “We have to keep their offense from getting to the boards.”