|Cathy Lida dribbles toward the hoop during Houston's 71-52 victory over Marquette Friday, February 16.|
HOUSTON, Texas - After falling to National division leader Tulane last Sunday, the University of Houston Lady Cougars took to the court Friday (Feb. 16) in their second-to-last home game of the year and took control from tip-off as they handed a big 71-52 defeat at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The win was the first for the Lady Cougars in four lifetime meetings against the Golden Eagles since the two schools began competing at the start of Conference USA during the 1996-97 season.
Houston jumped out to a 10-2 lead within the first four minutes and never looked back as they entered half-time with a 39-22 lead. Marquette mustered a comeback and came within 17 points with 1:12 remaining, but Houston held on for the victory.
Four of the five starters for the Lady Cougars recorded double figures in scoring, including seniors Monet Sykes (11), ShaRonda Lasseter (13) and Jessica Shanklin (16) and freshman Nicole Oliver, who scored 10-or-more points for the third straight game with a career-high 13. Shanklin, the team's leading threat outside of the arc, shot 5-of-9 on the night, including 4-of-8 in three-point attempts, for her team-leading 16 points. She has now recorded two-or-more three-point field goals in each of her last eight games.
Shanklin added a team-high nine assists, one block and one steal. Junior Valerie Muoneke pulled dwon a game-high eight rebounds.
With the win the Lady Cougars improve to 16-9 overall on the year and 9-4 in C-USA play. They play in their final home game of the 2000-01 season on Sunday (Feb. 18) afternoon as they host DePaul at 2:00pm. The University will honor the six Lady Cougar seniors in a brief pre-game ceremony prior to tip-off. Those being honored will be ShaRonda Lasseter, Monet Sykes, Cathy Lida, Jessica Shanklin, Norma Noel and Danielle Fenderson.