Nov. 29, 2013
HOUSTON---The Cougars will take on Kent State and Prairie View A&M, as they play hosts to the third-annual David Jones Memorial Classic this Saturday and Sunday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
About the David Jones Classic
Houston welcomes in Kent State, Stephen F. Austin, and Prairie View A&M to compete in the third annual David Jones Classic, which honors the late assistant coach who served at Houston from 1999-2006.
Jones was a part of the coaching staff during the greatest five-year run in program history that included a 109-47 overall record and four postseason appearances. During that time, Jones was able to coach his daughter, Chandi, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,692 points).
Saturday Nov. 30th
Stephen F. Austin vs. Prairie View- 12:00 p.m. CT
Houston vs. Kent State- 2:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, Dec. 1st
Stephen F. Austin vs. Kent State- 1:00 p.m. CT
Houston vs. Prairie View A&M- 3:30 p.m. CT
There will be live video coverage available for both of Houston's games this weekend. 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 Cougar All-Access.
There will be live audio streaming available for both of Houston's games this weekend. 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. Jeremy Branham will have the play-by-play, while Louis Ray will provide the color commentary.
There will be live stats available for both of Houston's games this weekend. To access live stats for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "GameTracker" 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 email@example.com. 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 (1-4) vs. Kent State (1-4)
Series Notes: Saturday will mark the first ever meeting between the two schools.
Getting to Know Kent State
The Golden Flashes are off to a rough start in the 2013, as they’re just 1-4 on the year, while being outscored by an average of 20.8 points per game. Kent State is also coming off a 2012-13 season where it finished with a record of just 3-27 overall, while it recorded a 1-15 mark in the Mid American Conference. Freshman guard Larissa Lurken leads the team in scoring thus far, averaging 11.6 points per game, while junior center CiCi Shannon leads the squad in rebounding, pulling down seven boards per game. The Golden Flashes bring back two starters and five letterwinners overall from last season and were picked to finish in sixth place in the MAC east division according to the conference’s preseason poll.
Houston (1-4) vs. Prairie View A&M (0-3)
Overall Record 15-0
Home Record 9-0
Away Record 2-0
Neutral Site Record 4-0
Longest Win Streak 15 games
Longest Losing Streak N/A
Current Streak 15 games
Record in Last 10 Meetings 10-0
Feb. 26, 1976 at Hofheinz Pavilion (W, 68-55)
Dec. 15, 2006 in Los Angeles, Calif. (W, 96-90 2 OT)
The Series Game-by-Game
02/26/76 Prairie View A&M W 68-55
02/28/76 Prairie View A&M W 59-56
02/09/78 Prairie View A&M W 72-44
02/24/78 Prairie View A&M W 78-48
12/07/91 Prairie View A&M W 107-66
12/06/91 Prairie View A&M W 112-42
11/30/94 Prairie View A&M W 83-45
01/30/95 at Prairie View A&M W 94-45
01/03/96 Prairie View A&M W 90-36
12/17/96 Prairie View A&M W 69-48
12/18/97 Prairie View A&M W 54-45
02/05/98 at Prairie View A&M W 62-31
12/05/01 Prairie View A&M W 68-30
12/20/05 Prairie View A&M W 78-67
12/15/06 Prairie View A&M W 96-90 (2OT)
Series Notes: It was a thriller the last time these two schools got together, as the Cougars squeaked out a 96-90 victory in what was the only double-overtime contest between the two schools all-time and just the third double-overtime game in Cougar history. Tye Jackson led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-25 shooting, as four Cougars produced double-figure scoring games in the win...Houston has never lost to Prairie View A&M and have won by 10+ points in 12 of the 15 all-time meetings...Houston’s largest margin of victory over PVAMU came in a 112-42 victory on Dec. 6, 1991 (70 points)...the Cougars’ smallest margin of victory came in a 59-56 victory on Feb. 28, 1976 (three points).
Breaking Down the Panthers
Prairie View A&M limps into this game with an 0-3 record, as it has been outscored by an average of 38 points per game this season. The Panthers are led by junior guard Jeanette Jackson, who leads the team in scoring, averaging 13 points per game. Junior forward Larissa Scott leads the team in rebounding, pulling down 8.7 boards per game.
Last Time Out For the Cougars
The Cougars outscored Creighton 31-18 over the final 12 minutes of the ball game and shot a near perfect 12-of-13 from the free throw line in the second half, but it wasn’t enough, as the Bluejays held on for a 65-55 win over Houston, last Saturday night at D.J. Sokol Arena.
For the third time this season, sophomore guard Jessieka Palmer led the team in scoring off the bench, collecting 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting overall, including going 2-of-3 from three-point land. Senior forward Destini Texada chipped in with 10 points in 22 minutes of action as the only other double-digit scorer for the Cougars, as senior center Yasmeen Thompson led the team in rebounding with six.
Senior guard McKenzie Fujan led all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while freshman forward Brianna Rollerson contributed 10 points and pulled down a game-high seven boards for Creighton (3-2) in the win.
Houston (1-4) got in a hole early, as it trailed 18-6 with 10:33 left in the first half after beginning the game just 2-of-9 from the field. The Cougars then fell behind by as many as 13 points after Creighton’s Sarah Nelson nailed a three pointer from the top of the key to extend the Bluejays’ lead to 25-12 with 6:28 remaining in the first half.
However, the Cougars clawed their way back into the game to make the score 25-19 with 1:24 left in the half, after Te’onna Campbell converted on a mid-range jumper.
The Bluejays ended the half on a mini 4-0 scoring run to take a 29-19 lead into the intermission, holding the Cougars to 34.6 percent shooting in the first half.
Creighton came out of the gates firing in the second half, launching a 12-1 scoring run to take a 41-20 lead with 14:27 left to play, as the Cougars were held without a field goal make for the first 5:54 of the half.
The Bluejays built the lead to as high as 23 points with 12:50 left in the contest.
Houston was able to connect on four three pointers in the final three minutes of the game to close the gap, but in the end it was just too little, too late.
Where We Rank
It’s only been five games, but here’s a look at where the Cougars stack up early on. Houston ranks third in The American in three-point percentage (.343) and fifth in offensive rebounds per game (15.4).
The Cougars’ bench has outscored the opponent’s bench in three of five contests this season...UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in all five games this season...Houston has scored the same amount or more points in the second half than the first half in all five games...UH hasn’t lost the second chance point battle in three games in a row...Houston has lost the points in the paint battle in three consecutive games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle on two straight contests.
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 a team-best 3.2 assists per game.
Turnovers Turning Into Points
Houston forced a season-high 26 turnovers two outings ago vs. North Texas, while Houston committed a season-best just 15 turnovers last Saturday at Creighton. Houston has won the turnover battle in two straight games and have scored 39 points off of 37 forced turnovers during that span.
What it Could Become
While Houston’s free throw shooting is a disappointing 61 percent so far this season, let’s take a look at what the final scores of alll five games could have looked like if those misses were turned into makes...with the free throw conversions turned into makes the Cougars would be 3-2 with a scoring margin of +5.0. Houston did show signs of improvement last time out, going 13-of-17 from the line for 76.5%. It was just the second time this season the Cougars had not missed 10+ free throws in a game.
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)
11/23 at Creighton L 65-59 (missed 4 FTs)
The Cougars’ bench has produced 147 of Houston’s 310 total points scored this season (47.4 %)...the UH bench has outscored the opposition’s bench 147-96 this season...Houston’s leading scorer has come off the bench on three separate occasions (Jessieka Palmer, 3x), while it has produced eight of Houston’s 12 double-digit scoring performances this season.
Oh So Close
The Cougars may be 1-4, but don’t expect that to last for long. Houston has lost two games by a combined 12 points this season, with two double-digit defeats coming at the hands of No. 16/12 Texas A&M on Nov. 17 and at 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Creighton last Saturday...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in four of five contests this year. They’ve been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in three of the five games.
That’s One, Let’s Do it Again
Houston’s 66-61 win over North Texas on Nov. 20 snapped what was a five-game losing skid going back to last year...the Cougars will try and claim consecutive home wins for the first time this season.
Houston started 1-4 last season, but then went on to win each of the next four games, beginning with two wins in the David Jones Classic. Houston’s two opponents this weekend are a combined 1-7 and have been outscored by an average of 29.4 points this season. Houston has won two straight David Jones Classic tournament games going back to last season.
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 second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points per game, and has averaged 10.5 points in four games off the bench this season and led Houston in scoring in three of those contests. She also leads the league in three-point percentage (.625) and is fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.0). She has made a three-pointer in every game she’s attempted a shot in so far this season (4-of-5 games).
Among the Nation’s Best
Jessieka Palmer’s .625 three-point percentage is ranked sixth best in the country.
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.