March 8, 2010
TULSA, Okla. - Following a junior season filled with outstanding play and a week that saw her earn First Team All-Conference and All-Defensive Team honors, University of Houston women's basketball forward Courtney Taylor took home the league's highest honor Monday when she was named Conference USA Player of the Year.
The Crockett, Texas, native becomes the fifth player in program history to earn Conference Player of the Year accolades and the first since former Cougar Chandi Jones won the final of three straight C-USA Player of the Year honors in 2003-04.
Taylor has etched her name all over the Cougar record books this season and was Houston's most consistent player. She leads the team in rebounding (10.1 rebounds per game), steals (53) and field goal percentage (.500), while ranking second in scoring (15.4 points per game) and blocked shots (32). Her rebounding totals rank her second in C-USA play and 29th nationally for the entire season.
Among her numerous individual highlights this season were a career-high 31-point performance in a win over Tulsa on Jan. 28 and a pair of 19-rebound outings that left her just one board shy of the school record for rebounds in a game.
She also shattered the school record for career double-doubles when she tallied her 36th such performance during a win over Memphis on Feb. 7. Currently, she has 39 double-doubles in her career and 13 this season to rank her in the top 20 nationwide. Additionally, Taylor became the 19th member in program history to join the prestigious 1,000 point club when she hit the millennium mark in a UH road win over UAB on Jan. 24.
Thanks to Taylor's play, the Cougars are powering their way into the postseason riding a three-game winning streak. But Taylor's influence goes far beyond the stat sheet. She kept the Cougars focused when 12th-year head coach Joe Curl was sidelined due to health concerns, helping the team finish in a tie for second in C-USA with a 10-6 league record.
This season, she has been named Conference USA Player of the Week three times to give her five career weekly awards from the league.
Conference USA also announced Monday that Tulane coach Lisa Stockton earned Coach of the Year honors after leading the Green Wave to the C-USA Championship with a 12-4 league record.
Taylor will set out to do what Jones did in her final Player of the Year season when she led the Cougars to an NCAA Tournament bid by winning the league's postseason tournament. The 2010 GM Sierra Conference USA Championships begin Monday at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Cougars enter the field as the No. 2 seed and will face the winner of the No. 7 Rice/No. 10 UTEP match-up at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.