Feb. 21, 2014
HOUSTON--- The Cougars haven't hosted a top-ranked opponent since 1987, but that soon will all change, as Houston returns home to Hofheinz Pavilion to take on No. 1 UConn, Saturday at 4:00 p.m. CT.
Watch it Live
There will be live television coverage of Houston's game vs. UConn. The game will be shown on SNY, ESPN3.com and the ESPNWatch application.Eric Frede will have the play-by-play, while Meg Culmo will provide the color commentary.
There will be live audio streaming available for Houston's game vs. UConn. 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.
There will be live stats available for Houston's game vs. UConn. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. UConn
Overall Record 0-1
Home Record 0-0
Away Record 0-1
Neutral Site Record 0-0
Longest Win Streak N/A
Longest Losing Streak 1 game
Current Streak Lost 1
Record in Last 10 Meetings 0-1
Jan. 7, 2014 in Storrs, Connecticut (L, 90-40)
Jan. 7, 2014 in Storrs, Connecticut (L, 90-40)
The Series Game-by-Game
01/07/14 at UConn* L 90-40
Series Notes: The two programs are meeting for the second time this season, as top-ranked UConn took the first ever meeting between the two teams, 90-40 back on Jan 7...Alecia Smith and Marche' Amerson each scored 11 points in that game to lead the Cougars...this will be the first Houston has ever hosted UConn.
How About Them Huskies?
The UConn Huskies (27-0, 14-0 The American) enter this one as the unanimous No. 1 team in the land, receiving all 32 first place votes in the USA Today/ Coaches' Poll and all 36 votes in the AP poll, as they are just one of two undefeated teams left in all of D -I basketball (Notre Dame 25-0)...the Huskies are currently in first place in The American, and lead the conference in 14 statistical categories...UConn boats five players that average double-digits in the scoring department, led by sophomore guard Breanna Stewart, who averages a team-leading 19.4 points per game, while pulling down 8.1 boards per contest and shooting 50 percent from the field...Stewert was picked as the conference's preseason favorite for player of the year...Stephanie Dolson leads the Huskies in rebounding, pulling down 9.1 boards per contest, while also pouring in 12.1 points per game...the Huskies average a league best 81.1 points per game, as they give up a conference low 47.2 points on average...UConn was picked as the preseason favorite to win The American.
Houston vs. No. 1
Overall Record 0-10
Home Record 0-4
Away Record 0-4
Neutral Site Record 0-2
Longest Win Streak N/A
Longest Losing Streak 10 games
Current Streak 10 games
Record in Last 10 Meetings 0-10
Feb. 4, 1980 at No. 1 Texas (L, 104-71)
Nov. 29, 1996 vs. No. 1 Stanford (L, 83-51)
No. 1 Matchups Game-by-Game
02/04/80 at #1 Texas L, 71-104
03/08/84 #1 Texas L, 76-96
02/05/85 #1 Texas L, 60-79
01/02/86 #1 Texas L, 66-92
02/01/86 at #1 Texas L, 60-87
03/06/86 vs. #1 Texas L, 64-81
01/28/87 #1 Texas L, 73-79
03/01/87 at #1 Texas L, 55-60
11/29/96 vs. #1 Stanford L, 51-83
01/07/14 at #1 UConn L, 90-40
Houston vs. Top Ranked Teams
This will be the 11th time in school history the Cougars have taken on a team ranked No. 1 in the nation...the last was a matchup with No. 1 UConn earlier this season, on Jan. 7, 2014 (L, 90-40)...this will be the first time Houston has hosted a top-ranked opponent since hosting No. 1 Texas on Jan. 28, 1987 (L, 79-73)....this will be the fifth time the Cougars have hosted a top-ranked team, and just the third time Houston has played a No. 1 team that wasn't named Texas...Houston's largest margin of defeat vs. a No. 1 team came in the meeting with UConn earlier this season, a 90-40 defeat (50 points) back on Jan. 7...the closest the Cougars have come to defeating No. 1 was a 60-55 loss (5 points) at Texas on March 1, 1987....Houston's average margin of defeat vs. No. 1 teams all-time is 22.5 points...this will be the third time the Cougars have played the same No. 1 team twice or more in the season (Texas during the 1986-87 season, Texas (3x) again during the 1985-86 campaign).
Houston vs. Ranked Opponents
The Cougars are 17-127 all-time vs. ranked opponents with their last ranked contest coming just last Tuesday at Louisville (L, 81-62)...Houston's last contest vs. a ranked opponent at home came vs. then No. 16/12 Texas A&M earlier this season back on Nov. 17, 2013 (L, 63-51)...the Cougars' last win vs. a ranked team came vs. No. 21 Nebraska (79-70) on Dec. 18, 2010...Houston's last win vs. a ranked opponent on at home came on Nov. Feb. 27, 2007 vs. No. 17 TCU (W, 76-71)...Houston has dropped five straight road contests to ranked opponents, while it's lost each of its last eight contests overall vs. ranked teams...Houston is 9-58 all-time vs. ranked teams at home...the Cougars are 1-33 all-time vs. top-five opponents, with its lone top-five win coming on Dec. 9, 1985 vs. No. 3 Louisiana Tech (66-60).
An Epic Week
Houston will be taking on second top-five opponent in a three-day span (played at No. 3 Louisville last Tuesday). It will arguably the toughest week in program history and will match the shortest span between top-five teams in school history, as the Cougars took on No. 3 Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 26, 1979 and then three days later played at No. 2 Texas on Jan. 29, 1979. That's the only other time it's happened.
Not Holding Back
When Houston takes on No. 1 UConn on Saturday, it will be the fifth time the Cougars have played a ranked team this season and the fourth top-five opponent on the year. It's the most ranked teams Houston has played in a single season since it played six ranked teams during the 2003-04 campaign...it's the first time the Cougars have played four or more top-five teams in a season since the 1985-86 season where they played No. 1 Texas three separate times, and No. 3 Louisiana Tech once.
Last Time Out for the Cougars
Sophomore guard Marche' Amerson went for a career-high 23 points, and the Cougars trailed No. 3 Louisville by just 11 points with under 18 minutes to play in the game, but in the end the Cardinals managed to defeat Houston, 81-62, Wednesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
Amerson played all 40 minutes and connected on a game-high and season-high equaling three treys on the evening, while sophomore guard Jessieka Palmer turned in a gutsy performance off the bench, as she scored 16 points, for her best scoring outing since also putting up 16 points way back on Nov. 13 at Northwestern State.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson led Houston in rebounding for the 14th time in the last 20 games, as she pulled down a game-high tying eight boards, while chipping in five points and recording two steals.
Sophomore forward Tyler Gilbert provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars, as she poured in eight points, recorded six rebounds, and notched a game-high and career-high tying three blocks in 21 minutes of action.
Things didn't look good for Houston (5-21, 1-14 The American) early, as the Cardinals scored literally just five seconds into the ballgame, while eventually taking a 13-3 advantage with 14:33 remaining in the first half.
But the underdog Cougars refused to back down, as Palmer came up with back-to-back three-balls to quite a hostile crowd of 7,408, and bring Houston within 13-9 with 13:42 left in the half.
The two treys, eventually jumpstarted, what turned into a 12-4 run to bring the Cougars within 17-15 with 10:27 left in the contest.
The two sides continued their sparring match over the next three-plus minutes of action, as the Cougars took every Louisville punch, and responded with a shot of their own, as Houston was very much in the game, trailing just 27-24 with 4:28 remaining in the half, after Gilbert knocked down two free throws.
Before the two free throws, Amerson and Palmer had combined to score 20 of Houston's 22 points in the contest, and the Cougars eventually went into the halftime break down a manageable margin of 38-27.
The Cardinals scored the first three points of the second half to balloon their lead to 14, but Houston came right back to cut it down to a 42-31 deficit with 17:49 left in the game, after Palmer took it all the way to the basket for the score.
But in the end, Louisville showed why its one of the best teams in college basketball, eventually taking control of the game, at one point working its lead to as high as 26 points, before the Cougars closed the contest on a 12-5 scoring run to whittle it down to the final margin of 19 points.
Something to Build From
The Cougars scored 61 points last Wednesday at No. 3 Louisville. It was the most points Houston has put up since scoring 67 on Dec. 20 at Rice...three of four halves vs. Louisville this season were decided by 10 points or less...the 19 point loss was the closest the Cougars had come to defeating a top-three team since falling to No. 2 Iowa 59-44 on Dec. 29,1993...it was also the closest Houston has come to defeating a top-three team on the road since falling at No. 1 Texas, 60-55 on March 1, 1987.
An Active Bench
Jessieka Palmer's 16 points off the bench were the most any Cougar reserve had scored since Marrisa Ashton recorded 19 points off the bench on Jan. 4 at Rutgers...the 28 bench points scored on Wednesday were also the most since the Cougar reserves combined for 29 points on Jan. 29 at USF....all 10 Cougars who made the trip saw game action on Wednesday.
Where We Rank
Through 26 games here's a look at where the Cougars stack up. Houston ranks fourth in The American in offensive rebounds per game (14.7). Through 15 games of conference play Houston ranks third in offensive rebounds per contest (14.1) and fourth in steals (8.3 spg).
UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in 21 of 26 games this season...Houston has scored more points in the second half than in the first half in seven of the eight seven games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in 13 of their last 23 games and in five of the last eight...the Cougars have had more points off of turnovers than the opposition in five of the last eight games...UH has attempted more free throws than its opponent in three of the last five 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 34.1 percent (482/1413) of the Cougars' total points this season. Either one or the other has been the leading scorer for Houston in 16 -of-26 games this season, and in seven of the last nine 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 six of the last nine games, averaging 12.1 points per game during that span. She scored a career-high 23 points last Wednesday at No. 3 Louisville.
Fortunate to Have Foreman
Demetria Foreman is shooting 82.4 percent from the free throw line thus far during conference play. That mark ranks second in the league.
Stealing the Spotlight
Te'onna Campbell ranks third in The American in steals per game (2.2). That mark ranks 84th in the nation. She recorded her 50th steal of the season last Wednesday at No. 3 Louisville. She's collected four or more steals in six different games this season.
Houston's 48-39 win at Cincinnati on Feb. 8 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 on Feb. 8...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..
Sharing is Caring
The Cougars are 2-0 when four or more players score in double figures this season (Dec. 20 at Rice and Jan. 8 at Cincinnati).
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 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.
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 (2.2), overall steals (50), and minutes played per contest (32.7) in just 23 games played this year. While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks second on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 6.7 per game and is second on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg). She's scored in double-digits in 11 of 23 contests played this year and has led the team in scoring in seven of the last 21 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)
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson has led Houston in rebounding in 14 of its last 20 contests. She leads the team in overall rebounding (8.1 rpg) and defensive rebounding (5.1 rpg). She's also posted double-digit rebounds nine times this year...her rebounds per game rank eighth in the conference, while her defensive rebounds rank seventh, and her offensive rebounds per game rank eighth. She also leads the team in double-doubles with five and has posted double-doubles in two of her last four games.
Oh So Close
Eight of Houston's 21 losses have been by nine points or less...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in 13 of 26 contests this year. They've been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in 10 of the 26 games...the Cougars have led at halftime in 10 of 26 contests this year.
Marche' Amerson has started in every game of her Houston career thus far, 56 games and counting. She leads the team in career starts and is just one of two Cougars to start every game this season (Yasmeen Thompson the other). She also leads the team in minutes played (822) and ranks second in minutes played per game (31.6)...she played all 40 minutes on Wednesday at No. 3 Louisville.
What It Could Be
Houston's free throw shooting is a disappointing 60.1 percent this season. Let's take a look at what the final scores of all 25 games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw misses turned into makes the Cougars would be 9-17 with a scoring margin of -3.1 instead of what currently is a scoring margin of -11.3...Houston has missed 10 or more free throws in a game 10 times this year.
The Finishing Touch
The Cougars are 5-0 this season when leading with under five minutes to play.
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.
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.
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.