Jan. 18, 2012
HOUSTON - Three University of Houston women's basketball student-athletes will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season due to injury, head coach Todd Buchanan announced Tuesday.
Starting guards Porsche Landry and Tasha Tubbs suffered season-ending injuries in just the third game of the season at Georgetown on Nov. 19, while freshman guard Tahlia Pope was also recently lost for the season.
In addition, sophomore center Zalika Dyson ended her career at Houston during preseason practice after suffering multiple knee injuries over the past few years.
The Cougars entered the 2011-12 campaign with an already slim squad after the departure of six seniors and eight letterwinners from last season, and has suffered from injuries throughout the season, as only two players have seen action in all 16 contests. Houston has been forced to play four games with only seven players and seven more contests with only eight players.
Landry, a First Team All-C-USA selection in 2011, was the lone returning starter from last season's record-breaking squad and entered her senior year primed for a huge season. The Houston native flourished last season in Buchanan's up-tempo style of play, slashing defenses to the tune of 14.8 points per game, which was nearly five points higher than her career average entering the season.
Landry tallied a career-high 37 points in Houston's narrow loss to New Mexico State in the season opener on Nov. 14 and was averaging 22.0 points per game and shooting 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field when she suffered a concussion at Georgetown. Landry will apply for a medical hardship and looks to return for the 2012-13 season.
"Porsche, along with Roxana (Button), is the heart and soul of this team and you can't replace her," Buchanan said. "She's such a special kid and we were expecting a huge year from her. She'll apply for a medical redshirt and our hope is that she'll have a phenomenal senior season in 2012-13."
Tubbs was in her first season at Houston after spending the previous two years at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. Tubbs started the first three games and was looked upon to provide solid production at the guard spot as well as bring quality experience to a young squad. Tubbs suffered a knee injury against Georgetown and will also apply for a medical hardship.
"Tasha came in highly touted and we were hoping that Porsche, Roxana and Tasha would be the perfect mix of quality experience for this squad," Buchanan said. "We've missed her scoring ability, but especially her experience. She's lost valuable game experience at this level that we could've built on for her senior year."
Pope, a freshman from Wichita, Kan., played in 13 contests this season with six starts before recently going down with a lower leg injury. Pope averaged 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and ranked third on the team with 20 assists.
"Tahlia was gaining valuable experience and very few freshmen get to see such meaningful minutes," Buchanan said. "She was doing a nice job of distributing the ball and had begun to play good defense but she's unfortunately out for the rest of the year, which is such a sad way to end a freshman season."
Dyson entered the 2011-12 season having competed in 37 career games and played a valuable 7.4 minutes per game a year ago. Despite the limited minutes, Dyson ranked 14th in C-USA last season with 20 blocked shots. The Albuquerque, N.M., native enjoyed a career performance against Rice last season with eight points and nine rebounds.
"Zalika is part of our basketball family and she's had a very difficult career due to injuries," Buchanan said. "We were hoping she'd be able to battle for at least one more year playing quality minutes. We sorely miss her in the post and she certainly would've helped us. Life is short, and we weren't going to jeopardize her quality of life for 28 to 30 more basketball games. It's been very tough on all of us and we miss her dearly."