HOUSTON, TEXAS (Jan. 7) - The University of Houston women's basketball team jumped out to an early 13-0 lead in the first half and controlled the court from then on as the Lady Cougars routed Conference USA rival Louisville by a final of 85-63 at Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 7.
Senior Monet Sykes paced Houston out of the shoot with 14 first-half points and went on to shoot 8-of-14 from inside the arc en route to a career-high 23 points. She pulled down seven boards, had two assists and made seven of her 10 free throw attempts. Freshman standout Chandi Jones scored 20-or-more points for the fifth consecutive game and tenth time in 15 games this season as she shot seven-of-17 from the field and went 10-for-13 in free throw attempts for 24 total points. She also pulled down seven boards, had three assists and added two steals.
Senior Cathy Lida added an impressive first half with a career-high six assists, six rebounds and seven points.
The Lady Cougars came out strong in the first half and built a 13-0 lead before the Lady Cardinals put a point on the board with 15:04 left in the half on a free throw by Carol Brown. Sykes reached double figures in scoring within the first eight minutes as Houston's lead was as much as 35-8 with just under nine minutes to halftime. The Houston defense, which forced 19 Louisville turnovers in the game, shut down the Cardinal offense and did not allow Louisville to reach double digits in points until junior Kara Kessens hit a two-point field goal to make the score 37-11 with 6:51 left in the first half.
Houston entered half-time with a 43-25 lead, and although Louisville came back to come within eight points late in the second half, 16 second-half fouls by Louisville led to 22 free throw points for the Lady Cougars as they held on for the victory. Houston made 47 percent of their shots from the field (28-of-60) and 41 rebounds.
Louisville freshman Sara Nord, the C-USA Player of the Week for January 1, nailed five of her eight three-point field goal attempts and shot 7-of-19 from the field for 21 points while teammate Marji Sober also reached double figures for the Cardinals with 12 points.
With the win this afternoon, the Lady Cougars improve to 9-6 on the season and 2-1 in Conference USA play. They travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to take on Southern Miss on Friday, January 12 at 7:00pm, then make the trek to New Orleans to play Tulane on Sunday afternoon, January 14, at 2:00pm.
Houston's next home game at Hofheinz Pavilion is against South Florida on Sunday, January 21 at 2:00pm.