Houston to Clash with Louisville in Second Round
March 8, 2014
HOUSTON---The Cougars will take on the two-seeded Louisville Cardinals in American Athletic Conference Quarterfinals on Saturday, at 5:00 p.m. CT iniside the Mohegan Sun Arena.
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A Look at the Series...
Houston vs. Louisville
Overall Record 3-11
Home Record 2-4
Away Record 0-6
Neutral Site Record 1-1
Conference Tournament matchups 0-1
Longest Win Streak 2 games
Longest Losing Streak 5 games
Current Streak Lost 2
Record in Last 10 Meetings 3-7
Jan. 17, 1997 at Louisville (L, 70-46)
Jan 21, at Louisville (L, 81-62)
Last Meeting in Conference Tournament
March 5, 2005 C-USA 2nd Round, Chapel Hill, N.C. (L, 56-48)
The Series Game-by-Game
01/17/97 at Louisville*................................................. L 46-70
02/23/97 LOUISVILLE*.................................................. L 57-69
01/11/98 LOUISVILLE*.................................................. L 67-79
01/08/99 at Louisville*................................................. L 69-85
02/20/00 at Louisville*................................................. L 54-68
01/07/01 LOUISVILLE* ................................................W 85-63
01/18/02 Louisville* ...................................................W 71-68
01/17/03 at Louisville*................................................. L 78-90
01/25/04 Louisville* ............................................. L 75-77 (OT)
01/23/05 at Louisville*................................................. L 49-50
03/05/05 vs. Louisville^............................................... L 48-56
12/19/10 vs. Louisville^............................................. W 92-80
01/21/14 LOUISVILLE*.................................................. L 52-93
02/19/14 at Louisville................................................... L 81-62
Series Notes: Saturday's quarterfinal matchup will mark the third meeting of the season between the two-seeded Cards and the 10-seeded Cougars, as Louisville took both regular season meetings...in the last meeting on Feb. 19 at Louisville both Marche' Amerson and Jessieka Palmer played well, as they scored 23 and 16 points respectively, while Yasmeen Thompson pulled down a game-high tying eight rebounds...the Cougars are 1-1 all-time in neutral court affairs vs. the Cards, while they're 0-1 all-time in conference tournament play vs. Louisville...Houston's largest margin of victory has come by 12 points, twice a 92-80 win on Dec. 19, 2010 and an 85-63 victory on Jan. 7, 2001...UH's largest margin of defeat came on Jan. 21, 2014 in a 93-52 loss.
Looking at Louisville
The Cardinals enter (28-3) this one as the No. 3/4 team in the country, with their only losses coming to UConn (2x) and No. 7 Kentucky...Louisville is led by senior guard Shoni Schimmel, who averages a team-leading 16.9 points per game, on 35.9 percent shooting. Asia Taylor averages a team-best 6.9 rebounds per contest, while also pouring in 11.1 points per game...the Cardinals lead the conference in three separate statistical categories...Louisville averages 80.1 points per game, while it gives up 60.2 points per contest on average...the Cards were the national-runner up last season, eventually losing to national champion UConn.
Last Time Out for the Cougars
The Cougars received a career-high 24 points from sophomore guard Marche' Amerson, as she led Houston to a 73-67 upset victory over the seventh-seeded Memphis Tigers, Friday night in the opening round of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament.
For Houston (6-24), the win marked its first conference tournament triumph since defeating UTEP in the opening round of the 2011 Conference USA Tournament, as the Cougars now move on to the quarterfinals to take on second-seeded Louisville tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. CT
Amerson shot 5-of-11 from the field and converted on a career-best 14 free throws to notch her second straight 20-plus point scoring outing, while senior forward Te'onna Campbell recorded her third double figure scoring performance in the last four contests, pouring in 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds and notching a career-high tying three blocks on the night, as both played all 40 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Bianca Winslow provided a lift off the bench, as she put in a career-high tying 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, all in the first half.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson pulled down a game-high tying eight rebounds, and scored six points in 21 minutes of action.
Ariel Hearn led the way for Memphis (13-18), as she scored a game-high 27 points, while Asianna Fuquea-Bey chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds to round out the double-digit scorers for the Tigers.
It didn't look good for Houston early, as Memphis jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with 14:47 left to play in the first half.
But the Cougars wouldn't give in, as they grinded out a 16-8 run of their own to come within 17-16 with 9:35 left to play in the first half, after Alecia Smith connected on a three pointer from the left wing.
Moments later, Houston took its first lead of the game at 20-19, after Amerson sunk a jumper with 7:41 left to play in the first half.
The Cougars worked their lead as high as 31-25 with 2:17 left in the first half after Winslow connected on a jumper in the lane, but Memphis went on to score the final six points of the period to make it a 31-31 ballgame at halftime.
Houston managed to score 13 points off of 13 forced turnovers, while it ended the half shooting 50 percent from the field (11-of-22) and 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from beyond the arc.
The Cougars kept their hot shooting going in the second half, as they outscored the Tigers 18-10 over the first nine-plus minutes of action to claim a 49-41 advantage at the 11:20 mark.
In fact Houston took a 39-38 lead with 15:41 left to play and never trailed again, as it shot a season-best 48.9 percent from the floor on 22-of-45 shooting, leading to 72 points, which ended up being just one point shy of UH's season-high of 74 points scored back on Dec. 1 v. Prairie View A&M.
The Cougars led by as many as 10 before winning the contest by the final margin of six points.
Houston ended up scoring 30 points in the paint and putting in 23 points off of 21 forced turnovers.
Houston's American Tournament Debut
When you talk about history concerning the American Athletic Conference Tournament, there really isn't any, as this weekend marks the debut of the league's postseason tournament. Houston enters this season's tournament as the No. 10 seed, after coming from Conference USA a year ago. The Cougars are now 11-16 in conference tournament action since 1997...Houston is 0-1 all-time vs. Louisville in postseason play.
Reason For Hope
The last time the Cougars played the Cardinals on Feb. 22 at Louisville, Houston was able to score 62 points, which was the most amount UH has scored in a game since putting up 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 the last time these two teams met was the closest Houston 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 had come to defeating a top-three team on the road since falling at No. 1 Texas, 60-55 on March 1, 1987.
Houston vs. Ranked Teams/ Top-Five Teams
The Cougars are 17-128 all-time vs. ranked opponents. ...the Cougars' last win vs. a ranked team came vs. No. 21 Nebraska (79-70) on Dec. 18, 2010...Houston has lost each of its last eight contests overall vs. ranked teams...the Cougars are 1-34 all-time vs. top-five opponents, with its lone top-five win coming on Dec. 9, 1985 vs. No. 3 Louisiana Tech (66-60).
So About Last Night
In Friday night's first round game vs. Memphis, the Cougars shot a season high 48.9 percent from the floor and a season-high 60 percent shooting from three-point land. the 73 points scored were the second highest the Cougars have scored this season, as they scored 74 points vs. Prairie View A&M on Dec. 1.
Leaving it All on the Floor
Te'onna Campbell has averaged 38.5 minutes per game over her last eight contests, while only playing less than 39 minutes twice during that span. The last time she played in less than 30 minutes in a contest was on Feb. 1 at UCF, as she played 28 minutes that day...Marche' Amerson in a very similar boat, as she has averaged 36.3 minutes per game over her last nine contests, while she hasn't played less than 30 minutes in a contest since she played 27 minutes on Jan 25 vs. SMU...both Campbell (33.6) and Amerson (32.0) rank fourth and ninth in the league in minutes played per game respectively.
Not Holding Back
After Houston played No. 1 UConn on Feb. 22, it was the fifth time the Cougars had 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.
On the Offensive
Houston ranks third in The American in offensive rebounds per game (14.9), while it ranks second in the league in offensive rebounds per game during league play, grabbing 14.6 offensive boards per contest.
UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in 24 of 30 games this season...Houston has scored more points in the second half than in the first half in 10 of the last 12 games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in 16 of their last 27 games and in seven of the last 12...the Cougars have had more points off of turnovers (or equal) than the opposition in seven of the last 12 games....Houston has won the battle on the offensive glass in five of its last seven 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.
While Houston boasts seven upperclassmen on the roster, five of them are transfers in Te'onna Campbell, Yasmeen Thompson, Destini Texada, Demetria Foreman, and Marissa Ashton....four of the five transfers have averaged 24-plus minutes of action per game this season, while four of the five have also started in 24 games or more.
Houston's Dynamic Duo
Te'onna Campbell and Marche' Amerson have combined to score 35.7 percent (582/1626) of the Cougars' total points this season. Either one or the other has been the leading scorer for Houston in 20 -of-30 games this season, and in 101of the last 13 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 seven of the last 12 games, averaging 11.8 points per game during that span...she has scored 20+ points in her last two games, notching her team-leading fourth 20+ point performance of the season last night vs. Memphis. Her 24 points scored was also a career high.
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 fourth in The American in steals per game (2.0). She's collected four or more steals in seven 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...the 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.
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 (2.0), overall steals (55), and minutes played per contest (33.6) in 27 games played this year. While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks second on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 6.5 per game and ranks second on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg). She's scored in double-digits in 14-of-27 contests played this year and has led the team in scoring in nine of the last 25 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 three times this season, including last week (Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 4 )
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson has led Houston in rebounding in 17 of its last 23 contests. She leads the team in overall rebounding (8.4 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.2), and defensive rebounding (5.2 rpg). She's also posted double-digit rebounds 11 times this year...her rebounds per game rank sixth in the conference, while her defensive rebounds rank seventh and offensive rebounds per game rank sixth. She also leads the team in double-doubles with five. She earned a spot on this week's American Honor Roll after averaging 10 rebounds in each of Houston's last three games.
Oh So Close
Ten of Houston's 23 losses have been by 10 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 15 of 30 contests this year. They've been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in 12 of the 30 games...the Cougars have led at halftime in 11 of 30 contests this year.
Marche' Amerson has started in every game of her Houston career thus far, 60 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 (961) and ranks second in minutes played per game (32.0).
What It Could Be
Houston's free throw shooting is a disappointing 59.7 percent this season. Let's take a look at what the final scores of all 29 games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw misses turned into makes the Cougars would be 10-20 with a scoring margin of -3.5 instead of what currently is a scoring margin of -12.1...Houston has missed 10 or more free throws in a game 11 times this year.
The Finishing Touch
The Cougars are 6-0 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.