College Basketball / NCAA POSTSEASON TOURNAMENTS : WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT / MIDEAST REGIONAL : USC Returns to Action in Chase for Title


The USC women’s basketball team, winner of five consecutive games since Coach Cheryl Miller predicted her team would not lose again this season, will play George Washington tonight at 7:30 in a second-round NCAA tournament game at the Sports Arena.

USC (24-3), ranked seventh in the final regular-season poll, meets the unranked Colonials (23-7) after defeating Portland, 77-62, on Thursday. George Washington, co-champion of the Atlantic 10 Conference, defeated Alabama Birmingham in its NCAA opener, 74-66.

With a victory tonight in senior All-American Lisa Leslie’s final home game, the Trojans would advance to the Mideast Regional next week at the University of Arkansas.

Miller’s team completed a 16-2 Pacific 10 championship season last weekend, but the Trojans have not played well in their last two, victories over Oregon State and Portland.


Generally, USC has lost much of the sizzle from its early- and midseason offense, and specifically its long-range shooting touch in recent outings. In practice this week, Miller has focused on shooting, lost timing and intensity.

George Washington lost to Rutgers in its conference tournament title game, 79-71. Junior forward Darlene Saar is the Colonials’ best player, averaging 13.1 points and 8.8 rebounds.