Women's Basketball Set to Meet Rice in Opening Round of C-USA Championship
March 5, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Houston women's basketball team opens postseason play at the 2012 Conference USA Championship against cross-town rival Rice at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tenn.
Button nabbed her first all-conference honor and extended Houston's streak of 12-straight years of at least one Cougar earning First-Team accolades dating back to the 2000-01 season, while Lawson became the first Cougar to garner All-Freshman Team accolades since the 2007-08 season when Cobilyn Hill and Courtney Taylor achieved the feat.
Button claimed the C-USA scoring title this season with 17.8 points per game, becoming just the third Cougar (Tye Jackson, Chandi Jones) to achieve the feat. Button also led the league in minutes played (38.1), 20-point games (12), 30-point performances (3) and made free throws (147) while scoring in double-digits in 25 of 28 regular-season contests.
Lawson led all freshmen in the league this season with 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, ranking 25th and 14th, respectively, overall in C-USA.
The Bryan, Texas, native scored in double figures in 12 contests this season, including 11 of 16 league games, where she averaged 10.0 points and 6.4 boards per contest.
With a win against fifth-seeded Rice, the Cougars would advance to the quarterfinals to face No. 4 UAB at 7:30 p.m., Thursday.
The Owls are scoring 60.1 points per game while limiting opponents to 56.6 points per contest. Rice is strong on the boards, ranking second in the league with 43.2 rebounds per game while also placing second in steals (10.9 spg) and third in turnover margin (+2.9).
Sophomore forward Jessica Kuster leads the Owls and ranks among the top three in the league in points (17.1 ppg), rebounds (10.9 rpg) and blocks (1.7 bpg). Senior Brianna Hypolite is also scoring in double figures with 10.5 points per game, while point guard D'Frantz Smart ranks second in C-USA in assists (4.2 apg) and third in steals (2.9 spg).
SERIES HISTORY VS. RICE
Rice has defeated Houston in both meetings this season, escaping Hofheinz Pavilion with a 58-50 victory on Jan. 28th before posting a 68-40 rout on Feb. 23.
The two teams have met only once in the Conference USA Championship, as Rice knocked off Houston by a score of 74-69 in the second round on March 3, 2006.