Lady Cougars Fall to Division Leader Tulane

Green Wave take revenge on Houston and hand the Lady Cougars a 75-59 loss

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    Houston's Nicole Oliver and Sarah Goree battle for the ball. (Jeff Shaw)
    HOUSTON, TEXAS - When Tulane Green Wave and the University of Houston Lady Cougars took to court at Hofheinz Pavilion on Sunday (Feb. 11) afternoon, the battle for the division lead was on. Houston, just a half-game behind Tulane in Conference USA's National Division with a 8-3 league record entering the game, had the upper hand as they had already beaten the Green Wave once earlier this season in New Orleans and had posted victories in their last seven home games.

    The Green Wave took revenge for their overtime loss to Houston in January and shut the Houston offense down as they defeated the Lady Cougars, 75-59, and snapped Houston's season-high seven-game winning streak and pull ahead further in the divisional race. They last posted seven consecutive victories at home during a 14-game stretch that began with wins in the final two games of the 1990-91 season and extended through the first 12 of the 1991-92 campaign.

    Tulane jumped to an early 10-3 lead before Houston scored--with 17:12 remaining in the first half on a three-pointer by senior Jessica Shanklin--and never looked back. Shanklin lead the Lady Cougars with nine first-half points, but Houston shot just 27.8 percent (10-36) as a team overall in the first half and entered the halftime down, 38-26.

    Houston's Jessica Shanklin drives to the basket. (Jeff Shaw)
    After Tulane pulled ahead and increased their lead within the first few minutes of the second half, Houston battled back and cut the Green Wave lead to 15 points with about eight minutes to go in regulation. Junior transfer Valerie Muoneke shot six-of-nine from the field, including three consecutive field goals, for 12 second-half points and would finish the afternoon with a team-leading 16 points, which also matched her season high. Joining Muoneke in double figures were Shanklin, who had 14, and freshman Nicole Oliver added 10 points. Shanklin has reached double figures in each of her last four games.

    With the loss the Lady Cougars fall to 15-9 overall on the year, 8-4 in C-USA play, and a game-and-a-half behind the Green Wave. They host Marquette this coming weekend on Friday (Feb. 16) night at 7:00pm and then DePaul on Sunday (Feb. 18) afternoon at 2:00pm for their final two home games of this season.



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