Challenging Non-Conference Schedule Awaits Women's Basketball in 2010-11
July 7, 2010
HOUSTON - After reaching the postseason for the eighth time in program history a season ago, the University of Houston women's basketball team announced its non-conference schedule for the 2010-11 season Wednesday.
The lineup of opponents for the Cougars is a challenging one that features 10 teams that played in the postseason last year, including six squads that appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, eight of the teams on the slate posted at least 22 victories during the 2009-10 campaign.
"This is an extremely competitive and exciting schedule that will help prepare us for a run in Conference USA," first-year head coach Todd Buchanan said. "It should also help to enhance our chances of achieving our ultimate goal of being one of the 64 teams selected to the NCAA Tournament."
After a final tune-up during an exhibition contest against the Houston Jaguars at Hofheinz Pavilion on Nov. 8, the Cougars tip off the season Nov. 14 when they entertain UT Arlington in the season opener on their home court. A year ago, Houston took to the road to earn a 78-74 victory over UTA in Arlington.
Up next for the Cougars will be a four-game road swing that begins with a trip to Las Cruces, N.M., to face New Mexico State on Nov. 20 before visiting Louisiana Tech on Nov. 23. After a stop in Tulsa, Okla., to face Oral Roberts on Nov. 27, the Cougars will play their first road contest in the Lone Star State when they head to Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU on Dec. 2. Last season, TCU defeated Houston 66-61 in a New Year's Eve contest in the Bayou City.
The road-tested Cougars return home Dec. 5 when they welcome Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to Hofheinz Pavilion where they will attempt to avenge an 81-76 loss to the Islanders in Corpus Christi last season. Two days later on Dec. 7, UTSA will make the trip east on I-10 to face Houston on its home court. The Cougars have never lost to UTSA in 16 meetings between the two schools, including a 74-53 victory over the Roadrunners in San Antonio last December.
Following the quick two-game home stand, Houston heads west to Las Vegas to take part in the Duel in the Desert where the Cougars face Nebraska, Louisville and Marist. The Huskers were one of the biggest stories of the 2009-10 season, putting together a 32-2 season and climbing as high as No. 3 in the national rankings. Marist was also an NCAA Tournament team a year ago after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship while Louisville earned a postseason trip to the Women's Basketball Invitational.
Returning to Houston, the Cougars will face another NCAA Tournament team from a year ago in Georgetown on Dec. 28 at Hofheinz Pavilion.
A pair of short road trips will conclude the non-conference schedule as the Cougars play at Houston Baptist on Dec. 30 before traveling to Beaumount, Texas, to battle defending Southland Conference champion Lamar on Jan. 4.
In January, the Cougars will jump into the always challenging play of Conference USA where they will attempt to build upon back-to-back second-place league finishes. The 2010-11 C-USA women's basketball schedule will be released later this fall.
Houston will certainly be in no short supply of experience and talent as it returns nine letterwinners and all five starters from a season ago. Overall, Buchanan welcomes back 97 percent of the team's scoring output from 2009-10. Among the numerous individual standouts back for the Cougars are Courtney Taylor, the reigning C-USA Player of the Year, and Brittney Scott, an All-Conference Second Team honoree.