TAMPA, FLORIDA - The University of Houston women's basketball team had a season-high five players reach double figures in scoring as the Lady Cougars defeated the University of South Florida Bulls by a final of 82-59 at the USF Sun Dome in their first Conference USA game of the season on Tuesday, January 2.
Pacing the Lady Cougars was freshman Chandi Jones with a team-leading 22 points. She was joined by seniors Monet Sykes (17), ShaRonda Lasseter (11) and Cathy Lida (10), and junior transfer Valerie Muoneke (14) as the Houston players to score in double figures. Jones shot 10-of-13 from the field including both Lady Cougar three-point field goals, and helped the Lady Cougars build a 45-22 half-time lead with 14 first-half points.
Defensively for Houston, Jones and fellow freshman Nicole Oliver each registered five steals, Lasseter had four blocks and Sykes pulled down a team-high eight boards.
The 23-point win was the largest margin of victory Houston has ever had over a Conference USA opponent since becoming a founding member of the conference prior to the 1996-97 season. Houston controlled the game from tip-off and built a 20-point lead half-way through the first half. Both schools scored an even 37-37 in the second half, but Houston held on and dominated in forcing the Bulls for 23 turnovers.
With the win Houston improves to 8-5 on the season and 1-0 in C-USA play. They return to the court on Friday, January 5, in the second C-USA game of the season to take on the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in Cincinnati at 7:00pm.