HOUSTON, TEXAS (Dec. 30) - In their first home game in nearly a month, the University of Houston women's basketball team improved to 7-5 on the year in defeating the Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders by a final of 77-72 at Hofheinz Pavilion on Dec. 30.
Freshman Chandi Jones scored over 20 points for the seventh time in 12 games this season as she paced the Lady Cougars shooting 10-of-19 from the field and was 4-for-5 in free throws for 25 points. Seniors ShaRonda Lasseter and Monet Sykes also led Houston as both registered their third double-doubles of the year. Lasseter scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds - including 10 offensively - while Sykes tied her season high with 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Lady Cougars came out strong in the first half and quickly went up on the Lady Raiders with a lead as big as 20 points just minutes before half-time. They entered half-time with a 41-24 lead, and although Middle Tennessee outscored Houston, 48-36, in the second half, the Lady Cougars held on for the victory.
In addition to her out point-scoring efforts, Jones aided the Houston offense with a team-leading three assists and also had a team-leading four steals. Junior transfer Valerie Muoneke, out since November 26 with a broken finger on her right hand, returned to the floor for the Lady Cougars and along with seniors Cathy Lida and Jessica Shanklin had two steals. Muoneke scored five points in her return.
With the win this afternoon, the Lady Cougars improve to 7-5 on the season and prepare to enter into Conference USA play. They travel to Tampa, Florida, for their first game against a C-USA rival as they take on South Florida on Tuesday, January 2, at 7:00pm (ET). Houston then travels to play the Cincinnati lady Bearcats on Friday, January 5, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30pm (ET).