Cougars Look to Keep Positive Momentum Rolling in Omaha
Nov. 21, 2013
HOUSTON---With the first win of the season on the board, the Cougars head to Omaha looking for more, as they'll take on Creighton University this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CT inside D.J. Sokol Arena.
There will be live video coverage available for Houston's game vs. Creighton. To access video for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page, then click the "watch" link to watch via paid subscription through Jays Video/ GoCreighton.com.
There will be live audio streaming available for Houston's game vs Creighton. To access audio for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page, then click the "audio" link to listen for free through stretch internet. Josh Peterson will provide the play-by-play, while Derrick Fazendin will have the color commentary.
There will be live stats available for Houston's game vs Creighton. To access live stats for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "Live Stats" link.
Follow the Cougars!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougarSports), Instagram (houstoncougars) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/UHAthletics). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonCougarWomensBasketball) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarWBB).
Women's Basketball Ticket Information
Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are now on sale in the Athletics Ticket Office, starting as low as $100 for general admission seating. Season tickets for floor seating are available for only $250.
Fans can also purchase flex tickets, using all 15 tickets for one home game, one ticket for all 15 contests or any combination in between.
How to Order
To purchase season tickets, fans can call 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.
Fans are encouraged to purchase their season tickets early for the best seats in the house.
A Look at the Series...
Houston (1-3) vs. Creighton (2-2)
Overall Record 1-2
Home Record 1-1
Away Record 0-1
Neutral Site Record 0-0
Longest Win Streak 1 game
Longest Losing Streak 2 games
Current Streak 2 games
Record in Last 10 Meetings N/A
Nov. 24, 2004 at Hofheinz Pavilion (W, 80-63)
Dec. 8, 2012 at Hofheinz Pavilion (L, 75-54)
The Series Game-by-Game
11/24/04 Creighton W 80-63
11/30/05 at Creighton L 59-76
12/8/12 CREIGHTON L 54-75
Series Notes: Last time these two schools met was just last season on Dec. 8 inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars come into this one looking to avenge a 75-54 defeat, as now senior guard McKenzie Fujan and sophomore guard Marissa Janning combined to score 35 points, while now senior forward Sarah Nelson pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds in the win. Now senior Te’onna Campbell had a nice game for the Cougars, as she notched her first career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds....Houston is 0-1 all-time at Creighton, dropping the lone contest 76-59 back on Nov. 30, 2005...While Creighton holds just a slim 2-1 lead in the overall series, no single game has been closer than 17 points, with the average margin of victory between these schools being 18.3 points...Houston’s largest margin of victory came in its lone win over Creighton, an 80-63 victory on Nov. 24, 2004 (17 points)...the Cougars’ largest margin of defeat was a 75-54 loss last time out on Dec. 8, 2012 (21 points).
Breaking Down the Bluejays
Creighton enters the new season playing as well as it ever has itnschool history, coming off back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and 2013. The Bluejays enter the new season poised to make another run at the big dance, as they return four starters and nine letterwinners overall from last year’s squad that finished 25-8 overall and tied for first in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 15-3 mark. Through four games the Bluejays stand at 2-2 and have been led by Marissa Janning (18.3 ppg) and Sarah Nelson (15.8 ppg). Janning leads the team in scoring, while Nelson is the squad’s leading rebounder (6.0 rpg). Both were picked as members of the 2013-14 All-BIG EAST First Team. Creighton was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST, while receiving two first place votes according to the conference’s preseason media poll. This is Creighton’s first year in the conference.
Last Time Out For the Cougars
The Cougars led by as many as 15 points and never trailed after the 19-minute mark of the first half, as Houston got past North Texas, 66-61, to earn its first win of the season, last Wednesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars (1-3) were led by sophomore guard Marche’ Amerson, who recorded a game-high 15 points and went 7-of-11 from the free throw line, while senior forward Te’onna Campbell had whale of a season debut, as she recorded 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds en route to her third career double-double.
Sophomore guard Alecia Smith also fell into a nice groove, connecting on 4-of-9 field goal attempts for 12 points on the night.
Forward Briesha Wynn led the way for North Texas (1-2), as she scored a team-high 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while forward Acheil Tac put in nine points and recorded nine rebounds in the loss.
Junior guard Demetria Foreman scooped in a layup to tie the game at 2-2 with 19:17 left in the first half, and from then on Houston never looked back, as the Cougars built a lead as high as 12 points before eventually going into halftime with a commanding 32-20 lead.
The first half was as good of a half of basketball as the Cougars had played all season long, as they shot 11-of-25 from the field for 44 percent and held the Mean Green to just 8-of-28 shooting for 28.6 percent. The shooting percentage was the highest the Cougars have shot in any half so far this season; while it was the second lowest shooting percentage it has held an opponent to in any half this year.
Houston continued to dominate in the second half, building a lead as high as 15 points, after Alecia Smith nailed one of her three made treys on the night from the top of the key to make it a 53-38 advantage with just 8:21 left to play.
However, North Texas would make a run, as it put the clamps down defensively, holding Houston to without field goal for over seven minutes of game time. Within that span, the Mean Green grinded out an 18-4 run to eventually pull within 57-56 with three minutes left to play.
But Houston was able to earn clutch stops when it had to and make enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win, as the Cougars forced a season-high 26 turnovers on the night.
Where We Rank
It’s only been four games, but here’s a look at where the Cougars stack up early on. Houston ranks third in The American in three-point percentage (.333), fourth in rebounding offense (46.2), fourth in blocked shots per game (4.5), and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (17.5).
The Cougars’ bench has outscored the opponent’s bench in three of four contests this season...UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in all four games this season...Houston has scored the same amount or more points in the second half than the first half in all four games.
Senior forward Te’onna Campbell made her 2013-14 season debut last Wednesday vs. North Texas, and boy was it a good one. Campbell scored 12 points and pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds en route to her third career double-double. She also knocked down a career-best eight free throws in the win.
Filling the Void
Houston is still in the process of trying to experience life without Porcshe Landry, who graduated last year as the program’s all-time assists leader (483), as well as the club’s scoring leader from a year ago (16.6 ppg). While it’s early, Houston may have found something in transfer guard Demetria Foreman, who collected a game-high eight assists in UH’s season opener on Nov. 8 vs. Mississippi State. She still has a ways to go to catch up to Landry, but the eight assists were the most any Cougar not named Landry had collected since Roxana Button also recorded eight assists on Feb. 26, 2012 vs. UCF. She is currently averaging 4.0 assists per game.
Putting it All Together
Houston shot 11-of-25 from the field for 44 percent in the first half vs. North Texas on Wednesday, while the Houston defense held the Mean Green to just 8-of-28 shooting for 28.6 percent. The 44 percent was the highest percentage of shots the Cougars have converted in any half this season. If Houston were able to sustain the 44 percent shooting, the mark would rank fourth in the conference, while the 28.6 percent defensive mark would be tops in the conference.
Turning Up the Heat
Houston forced a season-high 26 turnovers last time out vs. North Texas. The 26 turnovers directly led to 22 points for the Cougars...it was the first time UH had committed less turnovers than the opposition this season.
What it Could Become
While Houston’s free throw shooting is a disappointing 59 percent so far this season, let’s take a look at what the final scores of all four games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw conversions turned into makes the Cougars would be 3-1 with a scoring margin of +7.75.
11/8 vs. Mississippi State W 82-76 (missed 14 FTs)
11/13 at Northwestern State W 80-74 (missed 10 FTs)
11/17 vs. #12/16 Texas A&M L 63-59 (missed 8 FTs)
11/20 vs. North Texas W 84-61 (missed 18 FTs)
The Cougars’ bench has produced 125 of Houston’s 255 total points scored this season (49 percent)...the UH bench has outscored the opposition’s bench 125-72 this season...Houston’s leading scorer has come off the bench on two separate occasions (Jessieka Palmer, 2x), while producing seven of Houston’s 11 double-digit scoring performances this season.
Oh So Close
The Cougars may be 1-3, but don’t expect that to last for long. Houston has lost two games by a combined 12 points this season, with its lone double-digit defeat coming at the hands of No. 16/12 Texas A&M on Nov. 17...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in all four contests this year. They’ve been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in three of the four games.
That’s One, Let’s Do it Again
Houston’s 66-61 win over North Texas last Wednesday marks the first of the season and snaps what was a five-game losing skid going back to last year...the Cougars will try and claim back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 20 and Jan. 24, 2013 at Marshall and vs. Southern Miss.
A Streak Meant For Snapping
Houston has dropped four consecutive road contests going back to last season. The Cougars’ last road win came in a double-overtime win over Tulane on Feb. 17, 2013 (71-70).
Looking for Some Hofheinz Home Cooking
The Cougars are in the midst of a stretch that will see Houston play six of its first eight games to start the season at home, before it begins what will be a season-long three game road trip at Alabama (Dec. 8), Texas State (Dec. 15), and Rice (Dec. 20).
Palmer a Spark Off the Bench
Jessieka Palmer ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.3 points per game, but she’s averaged 17 points in two games off the bench this season and led Houston in scoring in both of those contests. She also leads the league in three-point percentage (.615) and is tied for fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.7).
Sanders Sinks Em
Freshman guard Alexia Sanders is 8-of-10 from the free throw line this season. Her .800 free throw percentage is tied for 10th in The American.
Destined For Success
Senior forward Destini Texada currently ranks ninth in The American in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and is tied for third in offensive rebounding (4.0 rpg). She grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in just 17 minutes on Nov. 13 vs. Northwestern State. Her .750 free throw percentage is ranked 13th in the league.
UH Athletics Team Up to Stomp Hunger
The University of Houston Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Houston Athletics Department are encouraging fans attending home athletic events next week (Nov. 17-23) to help support Hunger Week by donating canned goods for a chance to win great prizes.
Houston SAAC’s Hunger Week is an event designed by the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in conjunction with the University of Houston Athletics department. All donations will directly support the Houston Food Bank.
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.
More of Marche’
Marche’ Amerson earned a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2012 after ranking second on the squad with 10.1 points in league play while shooting a team best 36-percent from beyond the arc in conference action. Amerson also set a freshman record starting in all 30 games last season, while finishing in the top 10 in six other Houston all-time freshman marks. Houston hopes to count on her to be one of the team’s leaders on and off the court this season.
Senior Yasmeen Thompson wreaked havoc in the paint for the Cougars in 2012 after transferring from Paris Junior College, as she led C-USA in field-goal percentage (53.3) while ranking sixth in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and placing second in the league with 1.4 blocks per game in conference play a year ago. Thompson led the nation in field-goal percentage through the opening seven contests of the season.
The Philadelphia, Pa., native, who earned C-USA Player of the Week honors on Nov. 26, pulled down a career-best 17 boards in back-to-back games against Alabama and Yale, and followed up with her first-career double-double performance with 21 points and 14 rebounds at McNeese State on Nov. 20, marking 48 rebounds over a span of three games.
Thompson earned NJCAA All-Conference Honorable Mention honors last season at Paris JC after averaging 8.1 points and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds per game. Thompson helped the squad to a 24-7 record while reaching a national ranking of No. 11, setting a school record.
Hear it From Them
Be sure to visit www.UHCougars.com and click on the women’s basketball page to watch the 2013-14 women’s basketball season preview video featuring head coach Todd Buchanan, sophomore forward Marche’ Amerson, and senior center Yasmeen Thompson.