Cougars Hit the Road to Face Alabama

Jessieka Palmer

Dec. 7, 2013

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HOUSTON--- The Cougars prepare to begin a season-long three-game road trip, as they take on Alabama, this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CT inside Foster Auditorium.

Watch it Live

There will be live video coverage available for Houston's game vs. Alabama. 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 RollTide.com

Listen Live

There will be live audio streaming available for Houston's game vs. Alabama. 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 Derrick Fazendin will provide the color commentary

Live Stats

There will be live stats available for Houston's game vs. Alabama. 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 cougarpride@uh.edu. 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 (3-5) vs. Alabama (3-5)

Overall Record 3-2

Home Record 1-1

Away Record 1-1

Neutral Site Record 0-1

Longest Win Streak 2 games

Longest Losing Streak 1 game 

Current Streak Loss 1

Record in Last 10 Meetings N/A

First Meeting 

Dec. 2, 1989 in Houston, Texas (W, 71-51

Last Meeting 

Nov. 13, 2012 at Hofheinz Pavilion (L, 83-74)

The Series Game-by-Game

12/02/89 vs. ALABAMA W 71-51

12/20/91 at Alabama L 80-93

01/04/03 Alabama W 68-62

01/03/04 at Alabama W 76-70

11/13/12 ALABAMA      L 74-83

Series Notes: These two schools met as recently as last season, with Alabama claiming just its second win in the all-time series, defeating UH 74-83 on Nov. 13, 2012 at Hofheinz Pavilion. Despite the loss, numerous current Cougars had solid games last year vs. the Crimson Tide, as Jessieka Palmer went for a career-high 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Marche’ Amerson scored 10 points and collected two blocks, while Marissa Ashton recorded a double-double, putting up 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Yasmeen Thompson had a whale a of a game as well, as she pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds and scored nine points. The series has been closely contested, as Houston holds just a slim 3-2 edge all-time, while three of the five games have been decided by single digit scoring margins...Houston’s largest margin of victory over Alabama was a 71-51 win (20 points) on Dec. 2, 1989...the Cougars’ largest margin of defeat came in a 93-80 defeat (13 points) on Dec. 20,1991.

All About Alabama 

The Crimson Tide welcome back six letterwinners from a season ago, while it brings in eight newcomers, along with first-year head coach Kristy Curry in 2013-14. Alabama is off to a 3-5 start , averaging 63.4 points per game, while it’s opponents sport a 68.1 point per game average. Shafontaye Myers leads the Crimson Tide  in scoring, averaging 12.1 points per game, while Daisha Simmons is the squad’s leading rebounder, pulling down 6.3 boards per contest. She also sports an 11.4 point per game average as the team’s second-leading scorer. ...UA may have five losses, but two of them have come at #15/12 Nebraska and at #2/2 Duke....Alabama has dropped two of it’s last three contests overall, with its lone win during that span coming vs. Cal State Fullerton....according to the conference’s preseason media poll, Alabama was picked to finish last in the SEC (14th).

Last Time Out For the Cougars

The Cougars sported some superb individual performances, but they weren’t enough, as Washington was able to outlast Houston, 66-55, last Wednesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.

For Houston (3-5), the loss snaps what was a season-best three-game home win streak, while the Huskies (2-2) were able to claim their first road win of the season.

Sophomore forward Marche’ Amerson went off for a career-best 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting to lead all scorers, while Te’onna Campbell scored in double figures for the third consecutive outing, as she collected 12 points and 10 rebounds, notching her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career.

Senior center Yasmeen Thompson also recorded her sixth career double-double, as she went for 10 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes of action to round out the top performers for the Cougars.

Washington also sported three players in double figures, as freshman guard Kelsey Plum led the Huskies with 19 points, but on just 6-of-15 shooting. Sophomore forward Talia Walton tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Jazmine Davis put in 14 points in the win.

The Cougars came out of the gates firing, as the Cougars connected on seven of their first 14 field goal attempts to take an early 14-8 advantage with just under five minutes gone by, after Amerson splashed home a three-ball from the left wing.

Houston extended its lead to as high as eight points with 7:34 left in the first half, after Demetria Foreman picked up a steal and took it coast-to-coast for the easy lay in.

In fact the Cougar held the advantage for most of the first half, with the lead only changing three times, as its defense held Washington to just 12-of-33 shooting from the field overall (36.4 percent) and 2-of-15 from beyond the arc for a bleak 13.3 percent.

However, the Huskies were able to chip away, as they grinded out a 13-3 run over the final 7:34 of the half to take a 33-31 advantage into intermission.

But once again, Houston came out ready to play in the second half, as Amerson knocked down a jumper, followed by a Campbell made free throw to give the Cougars a slim 34-33 lead with 18:44 left to play.

The Dawgs and Cougars traded buckets twice more, before Washington was able to take the lead for good, eventually pulling ahead by as many as 13 points with 4:18 left to play.

Where We Rank

Through eight games here’s a look at where the Cougars stack up early on. Houston ranks third in The American in three-point defense (.270), fourth in offensive rebounding (15.6 rpg), and fourth in offensive rebounding percentage (.368).

What’s Trending

The Cougars’ bench has outscored their opponent’s bench in five of  eight contests this season...UH has recorded two or more double-digit scorers in all eight games this season...Houston has scored the same amount or more points in the second half than the first half in seven of eight games this season...UH has won the second chance point battle in five of its last six games...the Cougars have won the turnover battle in four of its last five games...Houston has shot 75+ percent from the free throw line three of its last four contests.

Turnovers Turning Into Points

Over the last three games, Houston has scored 51 points off of  65 forced turnovers. That amounts to 36 percent of the Cougars’ points over the last  three games....UH has scored more points off of turnovers than its opponent in three of last five 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 70 (57/81) percent of its free throw attempts over its last three affairs. The Cougars have shot 75 percent or better in three of their last four 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 (11.4), steals per game (3.2), and overall steals (16).  While she stands at just 5-foot-10, she ranks second on the team in rebounds per game, grabbing 6.6  per game. Over the last three contests she’s averaged 13 points and 3.3 steals per game in what also marked her first three starts of the season. The Cougars are 2-1 when she’s in the starting lineup.

Positive Reinforcements

The Cougars’ bench has produced 199 of Houston’s 493 total points scored this season (40.4%)...the UH bench has outscored the opposition’s bench 199-125 (+74) this season...the Cougars have outscored the opposition’s bench in  five of eight 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 20  double-digit scoring performances this season.

Oh So Close

The Cougars have won two of their last three and have caught some positive momentum to bring their record to 3-5 on  the season, but the best part is, it could even be better than that . Two of Houston’s five losses have been by a combined 12 points this season, with three double-digit defeats coming at the hands of No. 16/12 Texas A&M on Nov. 17, 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Creighton on Nov. 23, and 2013 WNIT participant Washington on Dec. 4...the Cougars have been within three points (or better) of the opposition with under 10 minutes to play in the game in  seven of eight contests this year. They’ve been within three points (or better) with under four minutes to play in five of the eight games.

Defending the Home Court

Houston has now won five of its last eight home affairs going back to last season. 

A Streak Meant For Snapping

The Cougars come into this one looking for their first road win of the season, after beginning the year 0-2 on the road. Houston  has lost five straight road affairs going back to last season.

The Second Half, Times Two

Houston has scored 54.6 percent (269/493) 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 61.6 points per game clip. The 70 points per game would rank sixth 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 2.5 assists per game.

Road Trippin’

After playing six of its first eight games at home to start the year, Houston now 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.

Tourney Tested

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.

Homegrown Talent

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.

Getting ‘Meen

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.



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