Karon Howell scored 21 points, and Cherie Nelson had 18 points and 18 rebounds to lead the USC women's basketball team to an 86-64 win over Old Dominion Friday night in the first round of the USC tournament before 2,478 fans at the Sports Arena.
In the first game, Texas, the defending national champion, opened its season by defeating No. 7-ranked Cal State Long Beach, 100-86. All five of Texas' starters scored in double figures.
The Trojans, ranked No. 5, led at halftime, 39-22, and never trailed. However, USC point guard Rhonda Windham was forced out after the first three minutes with a sprained ankle, and her availability for tonight's championship game against Texas is uncertain. The game will be a rematch of last season's NCAA final.
Cal State Long Beach plays Old Dominion for third place at 5 p.m.
Loyola Marymount forced 28 turnovers as the Lions opened their season with a 55-53 victory over Texas Arlington in the first round of the Little Apple women's tournament at Manhattan, Kan.