Scott's Hot Shooting Lifts Women's Basketball to 66-65 Win at ECU
Feb. 28, 2009
GREENVILLE, N. C. - Led by a career-high 27-point performance by sophomore guard Brittney Scott, the University of Houston women's basketball team defeated East Carolina Saturday in its regular season finale, 66-65, at Minges Coliseum. The win was also a historic one for head coach Joe Curl, who notched his 176th win at the helm of the Cougars to overcome former UH coach Dot Woodfin for the most coaching victories in program history.
The Cougars conclude the 2008-09 regular season with a record of 19-9 and a Conference USA mark of 11-5, earning them at least the No. 4 seed at next week's C-USA Women's Basketball Championship in New Orleans, La. For ECU, which fell to 17-12 overall and 8-8 league play, the loss was their first at home in C-USA play and just their second on their home court all season.
Scott's impressive afternoon featured her 10-for-18 shooting performance with a 5-for-6 mark from the free throw line to top her previous career-high of 25 points set earlier this season against Memphis. Along with Scott, sophomore forward Courtney Taylor also enjoyed a big game for the Cougars. The Crockett, Texas, native who has only four points at the intermission after being in foul trouble during the first half, responded with 14 second half points to finish with 18 for the game along with a game-high 11 rebounds to notch her 25th career double-double.
After earning his 300th career coaching victory in the Cougar's win over Texas Southern earlier this season, the 2008-09 campaign has been a memorable one for Curl, who Saturday passed Woodfin for the most wins in program history. Woodfin notched 175 wins from 1976-85 while Curl is 176-151 in 11 years on the Cougars sideline. The Cougar floor general is already the longest tenured coach in program history, beating out Woodfin, who coached at UH for nine seasons, and Jessie Kenlaw, who served eight seasons from 1990-98. Only Guy V. Lewis, who coached the UH men's team from 1956-86, has coached basketball at UH longer than Curl.
Scott was a one-woman wrecking crew in the first half, accounting for over half of the Cougars' scoring with 18 points. The Orange, Texas, native was lethal from the floor making 7-of-11 field goals and going a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line.
Freshman Porsche Landry was also productive during the opening minutes of the first half, scoring eight of the team's first 16 points in the period. The first-year guard suffered a minor injury in the final minutes of the opening period, forcing her to sit out the second half of the ballgame. Sophomore Jasmine Johnson filled in at the point and was solid in 19 minutes off the bench.
Houston, which shot 45.2 percent for the period (14-of-31), went to the locker room at the intermission trailing by a single point at 34-33.
The game, which featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes, remained tight down throughout the second half.
ECU enjoyed its biggest lead of the night at 60-55 with 5:30 to play, but the Cougars stayed tough down the stretch. Trailing by one with 1:41 remaining, UH got the big play it needed as Scott converted a jumper in the lane while being fouled. The subsequent free throw by Scott gave the visitors a two-point lead.
After a Pirate free throw cut the lead to only one and a Brittany Mason missed free throw gave them the ball back with seven seconds to play, ECU had one last chance with the ball to change the outcome. Johnson had other plans as she intercepted a Pirate pass, allowing the clock to expire and the Cougars to claim the victory.
The 2009 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship is set to get underway on March 5-8 in New Orleans. For the past 13 years the league has awarded the championship trophy to eight different outstanding teams. Fans may purchase their tickets in advance by going through the UH ticket office (713-GO-COOGS) or Tulane Athletics at tulanegreenwave.com or 504.861.WAVE (9283). General admission All Session tickets are $50 for adults and $40 for youth, while Single Session prices are $10 for adults and $7 for youth.