Linda Sharp sounded a bit distant on the phone, and not just because she was about 2,000 miles away.
Sharp was shellshocked after her second-ranked USC women's basketball team was demolished by sixth-ranked Louisiana Tech, 75-53, Monday night at Ruston, La. It was easily the worst loss for the Trojan women in the Cheryl Miller era.
"It's the worst in at least six years," Sharp said. "We never got into a good offensive rhythm. We struggled for our baskets all night. I thought the first half would never end. It was over in the first 20 minutes.
"They really played good defense. They took Cheryl out of the game. They denied her the ball. She only touched it 11 times in the game, and every time they got it they had two or three players around her.
"And everything they put up went in. So many strange things happened. It was a nightmare."
The Lady Techsters (11-1) rolled to a 43-20 halftime lead by making 19 of 27 shots (70.4%), while USC (11-2) could make just 5 of 25 (20%). Freshman Nora Lewis, who had 22 points and 9 rebounds for Tech, made all six shots she took in the first half. Angela Lawson, who scored 21 in the game, made 8 of 9 before halftime.
Miller, who took an elbow above the eye late in the first half, had 16 points and 14 rebounds, but made just 4 of 11 shots from the field. Holly Ford added 15 points and Cynthia Cooper had 14, but the normally deadly guard made only 5 of 19 shots.
The victory extended Louisiana Tech's winning streak at Thomas Assembly Center to 55 games, or every one of the Lady Techsters have played since USC beat them in the first game played in the building.