HOUSTON, Texas - The University of Houston Lady Cougars returned home on Monday, March 5, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after falling to Tulane in the semifinals of the C-USA Women's Basketball Tournament with their heads held high. Houston wrapped up the regular season with a 19-12 overall record, their first winning record in nearly ten years, and their dramatic turnaround this season-from a 7-21 team just a year ago to this year's showing-has been cited as one of the nine-best in NCAA Division I women's basketball this season.
As Houston awaits word on a bid to the post-season, here is a look at a list of accomplishments by the Lady Cougars during the regular season.
2000-01 REGULAR SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
The Lady Cougars reached double digits in overall wins for the first time since the 1995-96 season, when they finished 12-16. Their 19 total wins are the most since posting a 22-8 record during the 1991-92 campaign.
Houston's turnaround this season was cited as one of the nine best among Division I colleges in the country.
Houston received a No.3 seed at this year's Conference USA Tournament, the highest in the annual tournament in school history.
The Lady Cougars earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament for the first time in school history.
Houston snapped its 0-4 showing at the annual C-USA Tournament dating back to the 1996-97 season in defeating Memphis by a final of 70-64 in their first game on March 3. With the win the Lady Cougars advanced to the semifinal round and lost to eventual C-USA Champion Tulane, 78-74.
Freshman standout Chandi Jones, though missing the final nine games of the season after suffering a torn ACL on Jan. 28, remains the nation's leading freshman scorer in averaging 21.5 points per game, and she has shattered every C-USA freshman scoring record. Jones was named C-USA Freshman of the Year as well as to the First Team All-Conference and C-USA All-Freshman Team. She is the first Lady Cougar to be named to a first team all conference squad since Houston has been a member of C-USA.
Senior Monet Sykes, the Lady Cougars' leading rebounder throughout the season, was named to the Second Team All-Conference.
The Lady Cougars closed out the season with a 10-2 record on home court at Hofheinz Pavilion, their best record at home since posting a 13-1 record during the 1991-92 season. Three of their ten home victories were by 20 points or more.
Houston's six-game winning streak from from Jan. 7-Feb. 2-which also included an unprecedented six consecutive C-USA wins-was their longest winning streak since posting six straight victories from Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 1995.
Five of Houston's 19 wins have been against teams in the RPI Ratings Top 100.
Houston's 71-52 win over Louisiana Tech, ranked No. 9 at the time, on Dec. 3 marked only the fifth time in C-USA history that a C-USA team defeated a top ten non-conference opponent. Their 19-point victory was the largest margin of victory over a Top 100 team in the history of C-USA.
Houston ended the regular season with four players averaging double figures per game: seniors Monet Sykes (11.3), Jessica Shanklin (11.1), ShaRonda Lasseter (10.0) and freshman Chandi Jones (21.5).