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Hall of Famer Cooper leads Trojans into The Pavilion on Friday

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From page B1 | November 08, 2013 |

Be forewarned …

With Hall of Fame first-year USC coach Cynthia Cooper in charge, the UC Davis women’s basketball team on Friday night will see a completely different Trojan squad from the one the Aggies beat, 78-69, one year ago.

The regular season for both schools kicks off at 7 p.m. in The Pavilion.

Cooper, a USC legend, helped her Los Angeles alma mater to two national titles before winning an Olympic title and four WNBA championships.

With a coaching career that has seen her resurrect three other college programs, Cooper says this Trojan team is healthier than the one that finished last season at 11-20 (7-11 in the Pac-12) — and it returns senior Cassie Harberts.

Harberts, a 6-foot-2 forward, scored 10 points against the Aggies at the Galen Center. Returning guard Ariya Crook came off the bench to hit for 18. Forward Sydnee Fipps led UCD with 22.

The Aggies’ versatile 11-person roster, in addition to All-Big West standout Fipps, features guard Molly Greubel, emerging forward Alyson Doherty and a healthy swingman in junior Brianna Salvatore.

UCD is coming off of a 12-18 campaign in which its 7-11 Big West Conference mark was good only for seventh place. The locals dropped a first-round decision to Cal State Northridge in the league’s postseason tournament.

The Aggies posted an 80-59 exhibition victory over Humboldt State last week, while the Trojans rolled Westmont, 73-38, in their regular-season tune-up.

Notes: Last year, Cooper took a Texas Southern team that was 5-26 the previous season and turned them into Southwestern Athletic Conference champs (20-12 overall, 16-2 in league). Cooper also took UNC-Wilmington from 12-19 to 24-9 in her first year in 2010-11. … The Aggies can be heard Friday on a Stretch Internet live feed and will be broadcast locally on KDVS (90.3 FM) with Greg Wong and Sammy Meckler at the mics. Visit www.ucdavisaggies.com to access the links.

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