HOUSTON – The offseason is over, and the Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team is ready to open the 2017-18 season with a matchup at Texas A&M in the First Round of the Preseason WNIT inside Reed Arena, on Friday in College Station, Texas.
Fans can catch all of Friday’s action live via SECN+ with Will Johnson and Tap Bentz on the call. Fans can also hear the game live via Houston’s home for Women’s Basketball Radio, UHCougars.com/wbbradio. Live statistics are also available through StatBroadcast, and the official Twitter account of Houston Women’s Basketball, @UHCougarWBB, will offer updates throughout the game. LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS | TWITTER
|No. 4/5 Texas A&M||94|
College Station, Texas
Cougars Fall to #4/5 Texas A&M
The University of Houston women's basketball team showed heart and determination on Saturday afternoon in a 94-55 loss to No. 4/5 Texas A&M at Reed Arena. Houston led the top-5 Aggies midway through the first half and continued to battle throughout the 40-minute contest.
THE STARTING FIVE
Here are five names, numbers, news items and storylines you need to know about Friday’s Preseason WNIT opener at Texas A&M
Prestigious Opening – Houston will meet Texas A&M in the prestigious Preseason WNIT. 2017-18 marks the first time that the Cougars have been invited to the season-opening event.
Season Opener – Houston holds a 30-12 overall record in season-opening games and is 7-5 all-time when beginning its season on the road.
Old Rivals – Houston and Texas A&M have met 58 times in their in-state rivalry, dating back to a 55-48 win in the first matchup on Jan. 20, 1976, in College Station, Texas.
From Downtown – Houston set a program record with 178 made 3-pointers in 2016-17. The Cougars return 92.6 percent of all made threes to this year’s squad.
Budding Talent – Houston has had three freshmen over the past two seasons make the American Athletic Conference All-Freshman squad. Serithia Hawkins earned the honor unanimously in 2015-16, while Angela and Jasmyne Harris garnered laurels last season.
SERIES vs. TEXAS A&M
Friday’s contest marks the 59th meeting in program history with the Aggies and the 26th contest in College Station, Texas. The two squads were once members of the Southwest Conference.
Houston holds the all-time lead in the series at 34-24 but is 12-13 all-time when playing on the road.
Though the Cougars hold the series lead, the Aggies have won the last two meeting, including a 94-55 win over the Cougars in the most recent contest on Dec. 13, 2014 in College Station, Texas.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
Houston finished the 2016-17 season with a 12-19 record and a 4-12 mark in American Athletic Conference play. The Cougars swept each of the season series against Tulsa and East Carolina before stunning the No. 7 seed Cincinnati in The American Championship First Round.
The Cougars return four of their top-5 leading scorers from the 2016-17 season, including sophomores Jasmyne and Angela Harris who finished first and second, respectively, in scoring. Jasmyne paced the Cougars with 11.3 points per game in her freshman season, while Angela scored 10.0 per night. The Cougars averaged 61.2 points per contest in 2016-17.
Houston’s leading rebounder for the second consecutive season was then-sophomore Serithia Hawkins. Hawkins pulled down 8.0 rebounds per contest a year ago, while the Cougars averaged 37.9 boards per night.
The Cougars return four of five starters from the 2016-17 season, including guards Serithia Hawkins, Chyanne Butler and Jasmyne Harris as well as center Sharayla Brown. Mariah Mitchell and Angela Harris started 17 and 15 games, respectively, last season and highlight a group of five returning letterwinners that also includes Dorian Branch, Quatera Limbrick and Dionna Collins.
Julia Blackshell-Fair was the lone freshman in Head Coach Ronald Hughey’s 2016-17 signing class. Blackshell-Fair was rated as the No. 92 player in the nation according to ESPN HoopGurlz and helped lead Vanden High School to its first ever California State Championship.
The remainder of Hughey’s signing class included four transfers, highlighted by Alyssa Okoene who joins the Cougars from North Carolina. Okoene will miss the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining in 2018-19.
Myyah West and Octavia Barnes will look to bolster Houston’s front court after joining the Cougars from the junior college ranks. West, a 6-0 forward, came to Houston by way of Jones County Junior College, while Barnes made her way to the Cougars from Hinds Community College.
Senior Kaila Chizer also joined the Cougars for the 2017-18 season. Chizer, the daughter of Cougar legend and current Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development and SWA DeJuena Chizer, played two seasons at Texas A&M-Kingsville before spending a season as the Cougars’ team manager last year.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
Texas A&M finished the 2016-17 season with a 22-12 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the SEC. The Aggies reached the SEC Tournament semifinals and were selected as an at-large team into the NCAA Tournament, where, as the No. 5 seed, they defeated Penn, 63-61, in the First Round before falling to No. 4 seed UCLA in the Second Round.
The Aggies return their two leading scorers from the 2016-17 campaign, including Danni Williams who paced Texas A&M with 16.6 points per game. Khaalia Hillman returns for her senior season after averaging 16.4 points per contest a year ago.
Junior Anriel Howard returns as the Aggies’ leading rebounder from a year ago. Howard averaged a double-double, pulling down 10.4 rebounds per night while scoring 10.2 points per contest.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Houston will play its 2017-18 home games inside H&PE Arena on the campus of nearby Texas Southern University while renovations continue on the $60 million Fertitta Center.
For the best value to enjoy all 13 regular-season home games, fans can purchase a Shasta Pass for just $80. With the Shasta Pass, fans enjoy admission into every Women’s Basketball home game as well as remaining Volleyball and Soccer contests and Softball games in the spring.
Single game tickets are also available for games throughout the Women’s Basketball season, starting as low as $3 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats if purchases are made online before gameday. Ticket sales on gameday or walkup sales begin at $5 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats.
Fans can purchase tickets by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets or by clicking HERE, or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS
Fans can receive daily information and in-game updates by following @UHCougarWBB on Twitter. Fans can also catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at facebook.com/UHCougarWBB.