Houston Hosts Play 4Kay Game vs. Rutgers

    <i>Marche' Amerson has led the team in scoring in four of the last six contests</i>
    Marche' Amerson has led the team in scoring in four of the last six contests
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    Feb. 10, 2014

    Houston (5-18, 1-11 The American) vs. Rutgers (18-5, 9-3 The American)
    Houston, Texas | Hofheinz Pavilion 
    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | 7:00 p.m. CT
    Game Coverage:  Live Stats |Watch Live | Live Audio

    Houston Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader |Rutgers Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | American Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    HOUSTON--- After earning their first conference win of the season last Saturday, the Cougars will try to keep the momentum rolling, when they host Rutgers in the team's annual "pink game", Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. CT inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

    Cougars to Take Part in "Play 4Kay" Initiative

    The University of Houston women's basketball team will host its annual "pink game" to support breast cancer research and awareness on Tuesday.

    The Cougars' pink game is a part of the larger Play 4Kay initiative, which serves as an opportunity for a nation of coaches throughout Division I basketball to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for the cause. Since 2007, the program has raised over $2.8 million.

    Houston will show its support by wearing pink uniforms and pink shoes during its game vs. the Scarlet Knights, while the first 100 fans in attendance will receive limited edition pink spirit shirts in honor of the event.

    Watch it Live

    There will be live video coverage of Houston's game vs. Rutgers. The game will be streamed live through UHCougars.com via Cougar-All Access. To access video for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page, then click the "Watch" link to watch live with a paid subscription.

    Listen Live

    There will be live audio streaming available for Houston's game vs. Rutgers. To access audio for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page, then click the " live audio" link to listen for free through stretch internet. Jeremy Branham will have the play-by-play, while Louis Ray will provide the color commentary.

    Live Stats

    There will be live stats available for Houston's game vs Rutgers. To access live stats for the game visit UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "GameTracker" link.

    Follow the Cougars!

    Fans can keep up with the latest in Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougarSports), Instagram (houstoncougars) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/UHAthletics). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonCougarWomensBasketball) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarWBB).

    Women's Basketball Ticket Information

    Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are now on sale in the Athletics Ticket Office, starting as low as $100 for general admission seating. Season tickets for floor seating are available for only $250.

    Fans can also purchase flex tickets, using all 15 tickets for one home game, one ticket for all 15 contests or any combination in between.

    How to Order

    To purchase season tickets, fans can call 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links.

    To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email cougarpride@uh.edu. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.

    Fans are encouraged to purchase their season tickets early for the best seats in the house.

    A Look at the Series...

    Houston vs. Rutgers

    Overall Record 0-1

    Home Record 0-0

    Away Record 0-1

    Neutral Site Record 0-0

    Longest Win Streak None

    Longest Losing Streak 1 Game

    Current Streak Lost 1

    Record in Last 10 Meetings 0-1

    First Meeting 

    Jan. 4, 2014 at the RAC- Piscataway, N.J. (L, 68-47)

    Last Meeting 

    Jan. 4, 2014 at the RAC- Piscataway, N.J. (L, 68-47)

    The Series Game-by-Game

    Jan. 4, 2014 at Rutgers, L, 68-47

    Series Notes: The last time these two programs met on Jan. 4 of this season, was the very first meeting between the two programs. While the final margin of defeat ended up being 21 points, the Cougars actually held a 27-26 lead at the half, after holding Rutgers to just 9-of-37 from the field for 24.3 percent in the first half. Marissa Ashton provided a big lift off the bench for the Cougars, scoring a season-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting overall, including knocking down 3-of-5 shots from three-point land. Yasmeen Thompson also played well, recording a double-double, as she went for 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks. Tuesday will mark the second all-time meeting between the two schools, and the first ever at Hofheinz Pavilion.

    Scouting the Scarlet Knights

    Rutgers (18-5, 9-3 The American) enters this one sitting in third place in The American and winners of three in a row. In fact their only losses in conference play have come to No. 1 UConn, No. 4 Louisville, and a 74-73 overtime loss at Memphis...the Scarlet Knights are by sophomore guard Kahleah Copper, who averages a team-best 15.8 points per game, while shooting a team-best 57.2 percent from the field. American Preseason Freshman of the Year favorite Tyler Scaife has lived up to the honor, as she's averaged 13.3 points per contest this season, while junior forward  Bentijah Laney is the third and final Scarlet Knight to average double figures in scoring, as she puts up 12.6 points per contest. She also is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 9.4 boards per game...Rutgers averages 67.7 points per game, while it surrenders 58.9 points per contest on average for a scoring margin of +9.7...it averages 46 percent from the field...Rutgers was picked to finish fourth in the conference according to the league's preseason poll.

    Last Time Out For the Cougars

    The Cougars boasted a season-high tying four double digit scorers and put together one of the best defensive performances in program history, as Houston came into Cincinnati and beat the Bearcats, 48-39, for their first conference win of the season, last Saturday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena.

    Houston (5-18, 1-11 The American) held Cincinnati to just 39 points on 27.7 percent shooting from the floor for the game, as the 39 points were the least amount of points the Cougars have surrendered in a game since allowing just 32 points to Oregon State back on Nov. 19, 2009, while the 27.7 percent shooting from the field was the lowest Houston has held an opponent to all season.

    Sophomore forward Marche' Amerson led the scoring attack for the Cougars for the fourth time in the last six contests, as she went for 11 points, while knocking down 5-of-6 shots at the free throw line.

    Senior center Yasmeen Thompson notched her fourth double-double of the season, and her second in the last five games, as she poured in 10 points and grabbed a game-high and season-best equaling 13 rebounds in the winning effort for the Cougars.

    Senior forward Te'onna Campbell nearly had herself a double-double as well, as she went for 10 points and eight rebounds, collecting her 10th double figure scoring game of the season.

    Sophomore guard Alecia Smith produced her fifth double digit scoring game of the season, as she chipped in 10 points, while connecting on a game-high tying two treys in just her seventh start of the year.

    For Cincinnati (9-14, 2-10 The American), Alyesha Lovett led the way with 11 points and five rebounds, but on just 2-of-12 shooting from the field, as she was the only Bearcat to score in double figures.

    The Cougars came into this one with a sense of urgency, and it showed, as Houston put up eight unanswered points to begin the contest to take an 8-0 lead with 15:30 left to play in the first half.

    But that was just the beginning, as Houston would eventually extend its advantage to as high as 19-4 with 8:19 remaining in the half, after Jessieka Palmer connected on a contested jumper from the left wing, capping off a mini 6-0 run for the Cougars.

    Houston went into the intermission with a commanding 26-12 lead, as it held Cincinnati to just 4-of-24 shooting from the field for a microscopic 16.7 percent shooting percentage. The 12 points and 16.7 shooting percentage were both season-bests defensively for Houston.

    The Cougars struck first in the second half as well, as Thompson put in a layup within the first 30 seconds of the period to give UH its largest lead of the contest at 28-12. In fact the lead was Houston's largest in a game since defeating Prairie View A&M 74-46 back on Dec. 1.

    The Bearcats went on a small 9-1 run to trim the Cougar lead down 33-26 with 7:54 left in the contest, but would never get any closer than that, as Houston led wire-to-wire for just the second time this season, and for the first time on the road.

    Houston scored 14 points off of 22 turnovers on the day, while it committed just 13. The Cougars have now scored more points off of turnovers than the opposition in four of the last fives contests, while it has also won the overall turnover battle in four of the last five games.

    Where We Rank

    Through 23 games here's a look at where the Cougars stack up. Houston ranks fourth in The American in offensive rebounds per game (14.8). Through 12 games of conference play Houston ranks third in offensive rebounds per contest (14.2), fourth in steals per game (8.3), fourth in turnover margin (+0.42) and fourth in blocked shots (3.5 bpg).

    What's Trending

    UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in 19 of 23 games this season...Houston has scored more points in the second half than in the first half in four of the last five games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in 12 of their last 20 games and in four of the last five...the Cougars have had more points off of turnovers than the opposition in four of the last five games...UH has attempted more free throws than its opponent in back-to-back games.

    Palmer Beats Buzzers

    Jessieka Palmer nailed a three-ball at the halftime buzzer on Jan. 29 vs. USF. It was the third  time she had connected on a triple as the first half expired this season. She did it on Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State and Nov. 13 at Northwestern State. 

    Houston's Dynamic Duo

    Te'onna Campbell and Marche' Amerson have combined to score 32.8 percent (413/1259) of the Cougars' total points this season. Either one or the other has been the  leading scorer for Houston in 14 -of-23 games this season, and in five of the last six contests.

    Here Comes Marche'

    2013 Conference USA All-Freshman team member Marche' Amerson is finally starting to find her groove here in 2014. She's led the team in scoring in four of the last six games, averaging 10.4 points per game during that span.

    Fortunate to Have Foreman

    Demetria Foreman is shooting 81.3 percent from the free throw line thus far during conference play. That mark ranks  third in the league. If she were to keep that up for the duration of the season, the mark would rank 125th nationally. 

    Streaks Stopped

    Houston's 48-39 win at Cincinnati on Saturday snapped what was an 11-game losing streak and what was a five-game road losing skid. The win also gave the Cougars their first-ever American Athletic Conference victory. Interim head coach Wade Scott also earned his first win since taking over the role of head coach back on Dec. 21, 2013.

    A Defensive Performance for the Ages

    The Cougars surrendered just 39 points to Cincinnati last Saturday...the 39 points allowed was the least amount of points Houston had given up to any opponent since allowing just 32 points to Oregon State on Nov. 19, 2009...it was the least amount of points UH had allowed as a road team since also surrendering just 39 points at UAB on Feb. 2, 2004...Saturday's defensive performance is now tied for 16th best in program history, in terms of least amount of points given up in a game...the performance is also tied for fifth best all-time in terms of points given up on the road....the Cougars gave up just 12 points on 16.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half at Cincinnati, both mark season opponent lows for any half this season.

    Doing More on Defense

    The Cougars have held an opponent under 50 points four separate times this season, and under 40 points once...the Cougars are 3-1 when holding their opponent under 50 points this season... the Cougars held the Scarlet Knights to just 9-of-37 shooting for 24.3 percent in the first half the last time these two teams played on Jan. 4. That is the second lowest shooting percentage UH has held any opponent to in any half so far this season (16.7% in first half vs. Cincinnati on Feb. 8 is only half lower).

    Sharing is Caring

    Four of five Houston starters (Amerson, Smith, Campbell, Thompson) scored in double figures and combined to score 41 of the Cougars' 48 total points (85.4%) last Saturday at Cincinnati. It was the first time Houston had boasted four or more double digit scorers since Dec. 20 at Rice...UH is 2-0 when four or more players score in double figures this season.

    Wade Scott Takes Over as Interim Head Coach

    Former associate head coach Wade Scott took over the title of Interim Head Coach on Dec. 21, 2013 after former head coach Todd Buchanan chose to resign due to personal reasons. Scott is in his eighth season with the Cougar women's basketball program and will serve as the Head Coach for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Scott technically becomes the  seventh head coach in program history.

    A Team Effort

    The Cougars had posted a different leading scorer in seven consecutive games until Te'onna Campbell broke that streak by leading the team with 21 points on Jan. 11 vs. Cincinnati. (Thompson/ Campbell/ Amerson 9 pts 12/08 at Alabama, Texada 14 pts 12/15 at Texas State, Foreman 20 pts 12/20 at Rice, Campbell 16 pts 12/28 vs. UCF, Smith 15 pts 12/31 vs. USF, Ashton 19 pts 01/04 at Rutgers, Amerson/ Smith 11 pts 01/07 at UConn)...Still no player has flat out (all by herself) has led the team in scoring in consecutive games since Te'onna Campbell did it on 11/30 vs. Kent State and 12/01 vs. Prairie View A&M.

    Time To Take Back Hofheinz 

    Houston has dropped seven straight contests at Hofheinz Pavilion, with its last home win coming on Dec. 1 vs. Prairie View A&M.

    A Part of American History

    The Cougars and UCF Knights participated in what was the first ever American Athletic Conference game on Dec. 28. The American marks Houston's third different conference in school history in what is program's 39th year in existence. Houston's game on Dec. 28 was also the debut of the conference's original American Digital Network. The Cougars will be shown on the network at least seven sperate times this season, not including conference tournament play.

    Lights...Camera...Action!

    Twelve Cougar women's basketball regular season games will be shown on television this season. Seven games will be shown on the American Digital Network (Dec. 28 vs. UCF,  Jan. 25 vs. SMU, Jan. 29 at USF, Feb. 1 at UCF, Feb 8 at Cincinnati, Feb. 15 at SMU, March 1 at Memphis), four games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks (Dec. 31 vs. USF, Jan. 7 at UConn, Jan. 21 vs. Louisville, and Feb. 22 vs. UConn), while one will be shown on WHAS (Feb. 19 at Louisville). 

    Campbell Can Do A Lot

    Te'onna Campbell has done it all for the Cougars so far this season. She leads the team in steals per game (2.1), overall steals (42), and minutes played per contest (31.9) in just 20 games played this year.  While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks second on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 6.9 per game and leads the team in scoring (9.9 ppg). She's scored in double-digits in 10 of 20 contests played this year and has led the team in scoring in seven of the last 18 games. 

    What an Honor

    Te'onna Campbell became the first Cougar to earn a spot on the conference's weekly honor roll team on Dec. 30, thanks to her 16 point, 10 rebound performance vs. UCF on Dec. 28  in the league opener. Yasmeen Thompson has been an honor roll member twice this season (Jan. 27 and Feb. 3)

    Cleaning Up

    Senior center Yasmeen Thompson has led Houston in rebounding in 12 of its last 18 contests. She leads the team in overall rebounding (8.1 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.1 rpg), and defensive rebounding (5.0 rpg). She's also posted double-digit rebounds eight times this year...her rebounds per game rank sixth in the conference, while her defensive rebounds rank eighth, and her offensive rebounds per game rank seventh. She's also tied for the team lead in double-doubles this season with four. 

    Oh So Close

    Eight of Houston's 18 losses have been by nine points or less, while only six losses this season has come by 13+ points...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in 13 of 23 contests this year. They've been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in 10 of the 23 games...the Cougars have led at halftime in 10 of 23 contests this year.

    Iron Woman

    Marche' Amerson has started in every game of her Houston career thus far, 53 games and counting. She leads the team in career starts and just one of two Cougars to start every game this season (Yasmeen Thompson the other). 

    What It Could Become

    Houston's free throw shooting is a disappointing 59.2 percent this season. Let's take a look at what the final scores of all 23 games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw misses turned into makes the Cougars would be 9-14 with a scoring margin of -1.4 instead of what currently is a scoring margin of -9.9. 

    11/8 vs. Mississippi State   W 82-76 (missed 14 FTs)

    11/13 at Northwestern State   W 80-74 (missed 10 FTs)

    11/17 vs. #12/16 Texas A&M   L 63-59 (missed 8 FTs)

    11/20 vs. North Texas   W 84-61 (missed 18 FTs)

    11/23 at Creighton   L 65-59 (missed 4 FTs)

    11/30 vs. Kent State   W 58-44 (missed 4 FTs)

    12/1 vs. Prairie View A&M   W 80-46 (missed 6 FTs)

    12/4 vs. Washington   L 66-65 (missed 10 FTs)

    12/8 at Alabama   L 51-49 (missed 5 FTs)

    12/15 at Texas State   W 75-70 (missed 12 FTs)

    12/20 at Rice   W 78-54 (missed 11 FTs)

    12/28 vs. UCF   W 69-67 (missed 10 FTs)

    12/31 vs. USF   L 77-72 (missed 18 FTs)

    01/04 at Rutgers   L 68-54 (missed 7 FTs)

    01/07 at #1/1 UConn   L 90-41 (missed 1 FT)

    01/11 vs. Cincinnati   L 59-57 (missed 7 FTs)

    01/18 at Memphis   L 48-46 (missed 6 FTs)

    01/21 vs. #5/5 Louisville   L 93-55 (missed 3 FTs)

    01/25 vs. SMU   L 73-66 (missed 6 FTs)

    01/29 at USF   L 71-54 (missed 1 FT)

    02/01 at UCF   L 52-50 (missed 7 FTs)

    02/04 vs. Temple   L 79-60 (missed 14 FTs)

    02/08 at Cincinnati   W 61-39 (missed 13 FTs)

    The Finishing Touch

    The Cougars are 5-0 this season when leading with under five minutes to play.

    Filling the Void

    Houston is still in the process of trying to experience life without Porcshe Landry, who graduated last year as the program's all-time assists leader (483), as well as the club's scoring leader from a year ago (16.6 ppg). While it's too early to tell in just her first season, Houston may have found something in transfer guard Demetria Foreman, who collected a game-high eight assists in UH's season opener on Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State. She still has a ways to go to catch up to Landry, but the eight assists were the most any Cougar not named Landry had collected since Roxana Button also recorded eight assists on Feb. 26, 2012 vs. UCF. She is currently averaging a team-best 2.4 assists per game.

    Cougars Give Back to the Community 

    The University of Houston women's basketball team took a break from the playing court to spend some time with the kids from the Generation One Academy Wednesday afternoon.

    The Cougars helped with homework, shared stories, and played games with over 25 second and third graders from the school, as members of the team talked about their student-athlete experiences, among other things.

    "I think it's very important for our program to give back to the city of Houston and put ourselves out there," said interim head coach Wade Scott. "We're lucky to be surrounded by a community that gives so much to our program and I think this was a good opportunity for our student-athletes to show their thanks and appreciation for what this community has provided them with."

    "We're so grateful to Generation One for giving us the opportunity to come in and spend time with their students. They're doing some really good things down there, and we're very fortunate to have been able to play our small part."

    The Generation One Academy has hosted over 26,000 volunteers in an effort to help "at risk" kids of all ages in and around the Houston area. For more information on the organization, visit www.generationone.net

    RECYCLED NOTES

    Houston Signs Four Recruits for 2014-15

    Houston brought in Fatima Adams, Moesha Kinard, Dejah Joshua, and Sandra Davis

    Fatima Adams | Forward | 5-10 | Blinn Community College (Bryan, Texas)

    Adams has averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 35 games played at Blinn Junior College...so far through four games this season, she's racked up an average of 25 points per game, while shooting the ball at a 51.6 percent clip...she currently ranks in the top 50 among all active NJCAA members in six different categories: 11th in games played (35), 14th in games started (33), 41st in minutes played (845), 22nd in free throws made (127-167), 16th in offensive rebounds (131), and 18th in total rebounds (302)...she earned second-team all-district honors during the 2010-11 season and first-team all district accolades during the 2011-12 campaign while at Rudder High School...she helped lead Rudder High School to the third round of the playoffs in 2009-10 and the fourth round in 2011-12.

    From coach Buchanan: "I think she's extremely athletic and her natural position is small forward. She can step out and hit the mid-range jump shot, which quite frankly is hard to find in today's world. She's a strong kid, really jumps out of the gym and has a knack for the basketball. She's going to bring tremendous effort and energy, not to mention she can really score the basketball."

    Moesha Kinard | Guard/ Forward | 5-7 | New Iberia High School (New Iberia, La.)

    Kinard is a four-year letterwinner at New Iberia High School...New Iberia High School was ranked as the No. 5 high school to watch in the state of Louisiana this season thanks to Kinard's 19.8 points per game average her junior year...Kinard played every position on the floor except center in high school.

    From coach Buchanan: "You can't really classify her in a single position. She stays true to our core values and how we want to recruit, meaning we don't just recruit kids for one position; she can really play them all. She is so strong and psychical; it really allows her to play anywhere, but that small forward spot is probably where she fits best.

    Dejah Joshua | Forward | 5-8 | West Side High School (Gary, Ind.)

    Joshua averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game in her first season at West side High School, after transferring from Bowman Academy...while at Bowman Academy Joshua averaged 6.8 points, 1.2 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and a steal per game.

    From coach Buchanan: "She still has her best basketball ahead of her. She really has a great bounce to her game. She's athletic, but she's also a very smart player. She's very versatile, where she can step back and knock down the three point shot or she can take a few steps in and hit the mid-range bucket too. She's very poised for a high school kid. That's what really jumps out at me. She's also very crafty with the basketball."

    Sandra Davis | Forward | 6-1 | Garden City Community College (Odenton, MD)

    Davis has posted two double-digit scoring performances in five games played so far this season for Garden City Community College...earned Co-Best All Around Player of the Year (JV Basketball - 2009-2010), was a member of the Maryland 4A State Championship Team (2010), named team MVP (2011-2012), Second Team All-County (2011-2012), and a member of the county All-Star Team (2011-2012) while at Arundel High School.

    From coach Buchanan: "She brings a little bit of everything. She has great length and great size, standing at 6-foot-1. She's an incredibly intelligent basketball player. She brings that junior college experience that we need too. She's just a very well rounded player.

    Breaking Down the 2013-14 Cougars

    Fourth-year head coach Todd Buchanan and the Cougars return four starters and nine letterwinners overall from last season's squad that finished 13-17 overall and ninth in the final year of Conference USA with a 7-9 record.

    The 2013-14 campaign truly marks a new era of Houston basketball, as the Cougars prepare for their first year in the new American Athletic Conference, in what arguably will be the toughest in all of college basketball.

    While the Cougars will have deal with the loss of the program's all-time assists leader and the leading scorer from a year ago in Porsche Landry, Houston brings back 74 percent of last season's scoring total, including Conference USA All-Freshman team member Marche' Amerson.

    Amerson ranked second on the team a year ago in scoring, averaging 9.1 points per contest and set a UH freshman record as she started in all 30 contests for the Cougars.

    Senior center Yasmeen Thompson also returns for her senior year after establishing herself as formidable option down low last season, as she led Conference USA and ranked 10th all-time in program history in field goal percentage (.533), while chipping in 8.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.

    Cougars Tabbed 10th in American Media Poll

    The University of Houston women's basketball team was picked to finish 10th in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference according to a vote of league coaches released by the conference office on Oct. 14.

    The Cougars received 15 votes to finish just behind Temple, who was picked ninth with 25 points. Defending National Champion UConn was chosen as the unanimous favorite to win the league crown, as it received 81 overall points and nine of 10 first place votes.

    Louisville, the 2013 national runner-up, was chosen to finish second, as it collected 73 points overall and received the lone remaining first place vote.

    USF followed with 59 points, as it just edged out Rutgers for third place, who received a healthy 57 points.

    In-state rival SMU was picked to finish fifth (50 points), while Memphis (32 points), Cincinnati (30 points), and UCF followed (28 points), earning the sixth, seventh, and eighth spots respectively.

    Tourney Tested

    The Cougars will face a schedule loaded with postseason participants from 2012-13, as they will play five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (Texas A&M, Creighton, Prairie View A&M, USF twice, UConn twice, and Louisville twice), as well as three WNIT teams from 2012-13 in Washington, Memphis (twice), and SMU (twice) for a total of 14 matchups against eight teams that saw some kind of postseason action last season.

    Hit Me With Your Best Shot

    Houston boasts one of the more rigorous schedules in the nation, as the Cougars will go up against eight teams that are either ranked or have received votes in either the Associated Press or the USA Today Preseason Top 25 Coaches Polls. Three of those games come in the non-conference slate, as the Cougars host No. 16/ 13 Texas A&M (AP poll first), play at RV/ RV Creighton, and host RV/ NR Washington.

    The other five ranked matchups come in American Conference play as Houston will take on RV/ RV USF, NR/ RV Rutgers, No. 1/ No. 1 UConn, No. 5/ No. 5 Louisville, and NR/ RV SMU for a total of 10 meetings, as the Cougars will play each school at home and away. If all eight teams were able to find their way into the top 25, the 13 ranked contests in a season would be the most in school history. The most ranked opponents the Cougars have ever played in a single season are nine during the 1978-79 campaign.

    By the Numbers

    Houston returns 74 percent of its 1,903 points scored, 87 percent of its rebounds, 74 percent of its field goals made, 78 percent of its three-pointers made, 78 percent of its free throws converted, 57 percent of its assists, and 77 percent of its steals from a season ago.

    New Kids on the Block

    The Cougars welcome in just two new faces to this year's squad in freshman guard Alexia Sanders and junior college transfer guard Demetria Foreman. Sanders comes to Houston from nearby College Park High School in The Woodlands, where she earned District 14-5A MVP honors her senior season after leading the team in scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), steals (4.1 spg), assists (2.7 apg), and blocks (1.0 bpg).

    Foreman joins the Cougars after playing two seasons at Angelina Junior College, where she averaged 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game, while shooting 40 percent from the field last season. She was also named to the all-conference team and earned NJCAA All-Tournament team honors.

    You Can't Teach Tall

    This year's Cougar squad is one of the tallest in recent memory, as the team averages nearly six feet with nine players standing at 6-0 or taller. The Cougars ranked third in Conference USA in rebounding and blocked shots a year ago, averaging 41.6 boards and 3.6 swats per game.

    Homegrown Talent

    Ten of the 14 players on the roster call Texas home, while one is from Oklahoma, one is from California, one is from Pennsylvania, and one comes from British Columbia.

    Proud to be an American

    The Cougars are one of four teams (SMU, Memphis, and UCF) to make the jump from the old Conference USA to the new American Athletic Conference. The Cougars also join five other schools from what was the old BIG EAST conference (UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and South Florida), and one school out of the old Atlantic-10 in Temple to make up the new league. The AAC is Houston's third conference in what will be the program's 39th season.


     

     

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