Cougars Host Washington in Non-Conference Home Finale
Dec. 3, 2013
HOUSTON--- The Cougars close out their season-long three-game homestand and aim for their third straight win, as they host Washington, Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. CT inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
There will be live video coverage available for Houston's game vs. Washington. 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 Houston's game vs. Washington. 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 Houston's game vs. Washington. To access live stats for the game visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "GameTracker" link.
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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 (3-4) vs. Washington (1-2)
Overall Record 0-4
Home Record 0-0
Away Record 0-1
Neutral Site Record 0-3
Longest Win Streak N/A
Longest Losing Streak Lost 4
Current Streak Lost 4
Record in Last 10 Meetings 0-4
Dec. 7, 1984 in Long Beach, Calif (L, 82-69)
Dec. 18, 2011 in Seattle, Wash. (L, 85-60)
The Series Game-by-Game
12/07/84 vs. Washington L 69-82
12/07/96 vs. Washington L 52-86
12/07/02 vs. Washington L 65-76
12/18/11 at Washington L 60-85
Series Notes: The Cougars struggled to find points last time these two teams met, as Washington downed Houston 85-60. Roxana Button led the way with 21 points, while Michelle White put in 11 points and collected five assists in the game...Mae Woods and Terran Alford are the only current Cougars to have played against the Huskies. Alford went for four points while Woods scored two and grabbed three rebounds....this will mark the first time Houston has ever played Washington at home...the Cougars' closest margin of defeat came in a 76-65 (11 pts) loss on Dec. 7, 2002...UH's largest margin of defeat came in an 86-52 (34 pts) defeat on Dec. 7, 1996...the Cougars have never played the Huskies any other month besides December.
What's Up With Washington
Washington comes into this one well rested, as it hasn't played a game since Nov. 19. Meanwhile the Cougars have played four times during that span, while boasting a 3-1 record. The Huskies are off to just a 1-2 start, but they return four starters and seven letterwinners overall from a 2012 unit that went 21-12 overall and finished fifth in the Pac-12 with an 11-7 mark. UW managed to advance to the second round of the WNIT before falling to the 2013 Big West regular season champion Pacific Tigers. Through three games, freshman guard Kelsey Plum has led the Dawgs in scoring, posting 22.3 points per game, while junior guard Jazmine Davis is right behind her, sporting a 19.0 point per game average. Junior forward Aminah Williams is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down nine boards per game, while also averaging nine points. Washington was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12, according to the preseason conference coaches' poll.
Last Time Out For the Cougars
The Cougars exploded for a season-high 43 points on 52 percent shooting in the second half, to race by Prairie View A&M 74-46, last Sunday afternoon in the David Jones Classic finale at Hofheinz Pavilion.
For Houston (3-4), the win marked its second straight this season and the fourth consecutive victory in the David Jones Classic going back to last year.
Senior forward Te'onna Campbell led the Cougars in scoring for the second night in a row, as she went for 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and earned the David Jones Classic Tournament MVP award. Freshman forward Tyler Gilbert fell just two rebounds shy of her second double-double of the season, as she put in 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson recorded a similar performance, as she scored nine points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Bianca Winslow chipped in with a career game of her own, putting up a career-best 10 points on an impressive 4-of-5 shooting off the bench in the win.
Junior forward Asha Hampton-Finch led Prairie View A&M (0-5) with 19 points, as she knocked down 11-of-13 shots from the free throw line.
The Cougars finished the David Jones Classic with a record of 2-0, while Kent State and Stephen F. Austin both went 1-1 on the weekend. Prairie View A&M went 0-2.
Winslow picked up a steal and took the ball all the way down to the other end for the score with just seven ticks left in the first half, as Houston took a slim 31-25 advantage of into the intermission.
That play marked just the beginning of the best stretch of basketball the Cougars have had all season, as they exploded out of the gates in the second half, launching a 12-0 run to take a 43-25 lead with 14:37 left to play, after sophomore guard Marche' Amerson buried a jumper from the left wing.
Houston's defense was also stifling, as it held the Panthers scoreless for the first six-plus minutes of the second half, while forcing Prairie View A&M to shoot just 15-of-49 from the field for 30.6 percent overall for the game.
The Cougars' advantage ballooned to as high 31 points, after freshman guard Alexia Sanders converted on an athletic and-one opportunity at the rim to make it a 66-35 lead with just 4:16 left to play.
Houston also sported its best start to a game all season, as it knocked down four of its first seven field goal attempts to race out to an 8-0 lead with just over two minutes gone by in the game.
The Cougars shot a season-best 44 percent from the field, including knocking down 3-of-6 second half three balls and connecting on 18-of-24 free throws (75 percent) for the game. Houston has now shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe in three consecutive games.
The always-reliable Cougar bench came through once again as well, as it outscored the Panthers' reserves 33-15 for the contest. The Houston bench has outscored its opponent's bench in five of seven contests this season.
Where We Rank
Through seven games here's a look at where the Cougars stack up early on. Houston ranks third in The American in offensive rebounding (16.1 rpg), third in offensive rebounding percentage (.383), and fourth in three-point percentage (.315).
The Cougars' bench has outscored their opponent's bench in five of seven contests this season...UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in all seven games this season...Houston has scored the same amount or more points in the second half than the first half in all seven games...UH has won the second chance point battle in five consecutive games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in three of its last four games...Houston has shot 75+ percent from the free throw line three games in a row...UH has scored first in two consecutive contests.
Turnovers Turning Into Points
Over the last two games, Houston has scored 37 points off of 43 forced turnovers. That amounts to 29 percent of the Cougars' points over the last two games....UH has scored more points off of turnovers than its opponent in three of last four contests after losing that category over first three games.
Experience at the Helm
Head coach Todd Buchanan is in his 11th season as a head coach and is in his fourth season as the head man at Houston. The Cougars are in the midst of a stretch where they play three schools that are led by either first or second-year head coaches (Kent State, Prairie View A&M, and Washington). Houston also plays four schools in a row with coaches that are in either their first or second year with their respective schools (Kent State-2nd, Prairie View A&M-1st, Washington-1st, and Alabama-1st).
Oh What a Turnaround
After shooting just 59 percent (72/122) from the free throw line through the first four games of the season, Houston has connected on an impressive 77 (47/61) percent of its free throw attempts over its last three affairs. The Cougars haven't shot less than 75 percent from the line in a game during that span and are 2-1 in those games.
Campbell Can Do A Lot
Te'onna Campbell has done it all for the Cougars so far this season. She leads the club in points per game (11.3), steals per game (3.5), overall steals (14), and free throws attempted per game (7.3). While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks third on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 5.8 per game. Over the last two contests she's averaged 13.5 points and four steals per game in what also marked her first two starts of the season. The Cougars are 2-0 when she's in the starting lineup, while she's scored the first points for UH in two straight contests.
The Cougars' bench has produced 195 of Houston's 438 total points scored this season (44.5 %)...the UH bench has outscored the opposition's bench 195-115 (+80) this season...the Cougars have outscored the opposition's bench in five of seven games this season and have out scored the opponent's reserves by 22+ points in three games this year...Houston's leading scorer has come off the bench on three separate occasions (Jessieka Palmer, 3x), while it has produced 10 of Houston's 17 double-digit scoring performances this season.
Oh So Close
The Cougars have won two straight and have caught some positive momentum to bring their record to 3-4 on the season, but the best part is, it could even be better than that . Two of Houston's four losses have been 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 on Nov. 23...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in six of seven contests this year. They've been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in five of the seven games.
Defending the Home Court
Houston has now won three consecutive home games and five of its last seven home affairs going back to last season. A win vs. Washington on Wednesday would tie the Cougars' longest home win streak from last season. You have to go back to the 2010-11 season to find the last time Houston picked up wins in more than four straight home games (Seven consecutive to end that season).
Something to Build On
The Cougars are starting to find a winning groove, as they won back-to-back games over the weekend at the David Jones Classic. It was the first time Houston had won two consecutive games since defeating Marshall on Jan. 20, 2013 and Southern Miss on Jan. 24. It was the first time the Cougars had secured back-to-back double-digit wins since defeating Northwestern State (67-51) Nov. 24, 2013 and UTSA (55-42) on Nov. 27...Houston now aims for its first three-game win streak since winning four consecutive contests at the beginning of last season.
That's More Like it
The Cougars defeated Prairie View A&M last Sunday by the final of 74-46. The 28-point win marked the Cougars' largest margin of victory since defeating Tulsa 78-48 (30 pts) on Jan. 6, 2011...the 74 points scored Sunday were the most points the Cougars had recorded since putting up 81 points vs. Southern Miss on Jan. 24, 2013...the 43 second half points recorded Sunday were the most points Houston had scored in any half since also scoring 43 points in the second half vs. Southern Miss on Jan. 24, 2013.
The Second Half, Times Two
Houston has scored 56 percent (245/438) of its total points this season in the second half. If one were to replace Houston's first half scoring with its second half scoring this season, the Cougars would be averaging 70 points per game compared to its current 62.6 points per game clip. The 70 points per game would rank sxith best in The American. The Cougars currently rank ninth.
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 2.3 assists per game.
Looking for Some Hofheinz Home Cooking
The Cougars are ready to play the final game of a stretch that saw Houston play six of its first eight games to start the season at home. After Washington, it begins what will be a season-long three game road trip at Alabama (Dec. 8), Texas State (Dec. 15), and Rice (Dec. 20). Houston has won each of its last three games at Hofheinz Pavilion.
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.
From coach Buchanan: "I think she's extremely athletic and her natural position is small forward. She can step out and hit the mid-range jump shot, which quite frankly is hard to find in today's world. She's a strong kid, really jumps out of the gym and has a knack for the basketball. She's going to bring tremendous effort and energy, not to mention she can really score the basketball."
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.
From coach Buchanan: "You can't really classify her in a single position. She stays true to our core values and how we want to recruit, meaning we don't just recruit kids for one position; she can really play them all. She is so strong and psychical; it really allows her to play anywhere, but that small forward spot is probably where she fits best.
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.
From coach Buchanan: "She still has her best basketball ahead of her. She really has a great bounce to her game. She's athletic, but she's also a very smart player. She's very versatile, where she can step back and knock down the three point shot or she can take a few steps in and hit the mid-range bucket too. She's very poised for a high school kid. That's what really jumps out at me. She's also very crafty with the basketball."
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.
From coach Buchanan: "She brings a little bit of everything. She has great length and great size, standing at 6-foot-1. She's an incredibly intelligent basketball player. She brings that junior college experience that we need too. She's just a very well rounded player.
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.