Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Comets in 2008

Hilton Koch, Houston Comets owner, attended Thursday night's game between the Houston Lady Cougars and the LSU Lady Tigers at Hofheinz Pavilion.

There's one VERY IMPORTANT point I want to state:

The Houston Comets will play IN HOUSTON in 2008!

Some speculation had circulated (on message boards and among some Comets fans) doubting whether or not the Comets would play basketball games in Houston next summer.

Squash the speculation. Kill those doubts.

The Comets will play ball in H-town in 2008.
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

LSU Overwhelms UH

Thursday night's game between the Houston Lady Cougars and the LSU Lady Tigers was not expected to be overly competitive.

Check.

LSU defeated Houston 77 to 46; and, honestly, the game wasn't even that close.

Houston's Twiggy McIntyre opened the scoring with a three-point shot to give the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the game. In fact, UH owned an 11 to 10 lead after a turnaround jump shot by freshman center Cobilyn Hill.

Then, LSU's Sylvia Fowles took over. "Big Syl" split two free throws; then, converted a jump hook to give LSU a 13 to 11 lead. Fowles added a turnaround jumper to put the Lady Tigers up by six points (17 to 11). UH scored four straight points to pull within two. Houston did not get any closer the rest of the game.

LSU outscored the Lady Cougars 24 to 4 during the final 7:52 of the first half to take a 41 to 19 lead into halftime.

LSU shot 59.3% (16 for 27) from the field in the opening half while UH shot 36.4% (8 for 22). The Lady Cougars committed 13 turnovers in the half, too.

The Lady Tigers (5 - 2) started the second half with an 18 to 6 run to turn the final 13 minutes into extended garbage time -- or the chance to learn and get better -- depending on how you look at it.

Fowles led all scorers with 19 points (8 for 9 from the field) -- in only 28 minutes. Big Syl added seven rebounds and three of LSU's nine blocked shots. Three other Lady Tigers also scored in double figures: Quianna Chaney and Ashley Thomas each scored 11 and RaShonta LeBlanc scored 10 points.

Houston (2 - 6) was led by 11 points from freshman Brittney Scott. Houston finished the game shooting 33.3% (18 for 54) from the field and committing 25 turnovers.


Note:
Houston's Tye Jackson didn't play in tonight's game due to inflammation in her left knee.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meadors Named ATL's new Coach and GM

Today, the WNBA's newest franchise, the Atlanta (yet to be nicknamed), announced Marynell Meadors as the first Head Coach and General Manager in the team's history.

As one of the eight original head coaches in WNBA history (Charlotte Sting, 1997-1999), this is the second time that Meadors has been tapped to coach a WNBA team during its inaugural season.
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Tix to UH - LSU Game

If you'd like tickets to tomorrow's UH - LSU women's game, let me know as soon as possible. I just found out I can get a group tickets (The Houston Roundball Review Group) at a cost of $2 per ticket.

Tip - off is set for 7pm tomorrow -- November 29, 2007, at Hofheinz Pavilion.

As soon as you can, please Email me (KGardner@TheHRR.com) your name and how many tickets you'd like to purchase.

Thanks.

See you at the game!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Owls Announce 4 Signees

Earlier Tuesday, Rice Owls head coach Greg Williams announced the signing of Candace Ashford, Brianna Hypolite, Amenemope McKinney and D'Frantz Smart to National Letters of Intent to play for the Rice women's basketball program. All four players will enter as freshman for the 2008-09 season.

I've known about Hypolite and Smart's verbal commitments to the Owls for a while; and, I've had the chance to see each of them play ball. From what I saw, Hypolite (6'0) and Smart (5'0 -- yes, 5'0) are two good "gets" for Coach Williams and the Owls.

Assuming Ashford and McKinney are as talented as Coach Williams and the coaching staff say, perhaps the Owls program has brighter (and better) days ahead.

I sure hope the better days are ahead because I'd like to see the Owls (and the Houston Lady Cougars, too, of course) earn spots in the NCAA Tournament on a regular basis.
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Monday, November 26, 2007

OSU's Riley and OU's Robinson Earn Honors

Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State) was named Big 12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week while Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) was chosen Rookie of the Week by a media voting panel for games of November 19-25. Riley received her fourth career weekly honor while Robinson was recognized for the second consecutive week.

The Cowgirls and the Sooners will square off twice during Big 12 conference play (Saturday, January 12, in Stillwater, OK, and Saturday, February 23, in Norman, OK). Getting a chance to see these young to players go head-to-head should be fun to watch; so, ...

...Mark your calendars!


2007 - 2008 Big 12 Player of the Week
Nov. 26 -- Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State.
Nov. 19 -- Heather Ezell, Iowa State.
Nov. 12 -- Danielle Page, Nebraska.

2007 - 2008 Big 12 Rookie of the Week
Nov. 26 -- Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma.
Nov. 19 -- Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma and Kathleen Nash, Texas.
Nov. 12 -- Nicollette Smith, Kansas.
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SMU's Dodds Named Player of the Week

Conference USA selected SMU's senior Janielle Dodds as this week's C-USA Women's Basketball Player of the Week. Dodds led the Mustangs to a 3-0 record and an SMU Hoops for the Cure tournament title. Over the three games, she accounted for 23.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 65 percent from the floor (24-of-37) and 83 percent (20-of-24) from the free throw line.

C-USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Nov. 26 -- Janielle Dodds, SMU.
Nov. 20 -- Maudess Fulton, Rice and Crystal McFadden, UAB.
Nov. 12 -- Valeriya Berezhynska, Rice.
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UH hosts Van, Big Syl and LSU

The Houston Lady Cougars will face the LSU Lady Tigers this Thursday, November, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Tip - off is set for 7pm.

The Tigers are coached by former Houston Comets head coach --
Van Chancellor. Remember him?!

LSU is led by 6'6 senior center
Sylvia Fowles. "Big Syl" is one of the top players in women's college hoops; and, she is expected to be one of the players chosen in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

If you haven't seen this already, here's a clip of Big Syl's dunk last week, November 21, versus Louisana-Lafayette:



Despite what the sportscaster says in the video, Fowles is the sixth (not fifth) women to dunk in a women's college basketball game. (He forgot to mention Houston's Sancho Lyttle dunked in a game versus Gonzaga Friday, November 22, 2003, in the Iowa Hawkeye Challenge. I've seen Lyttle's dunk -- thanks to Houston's coaching staff -- it's a dunk; but, not a very clean one.)


The game will also be a homecoming (of sorts) for Tigers' guard RaShonta LeBlanc. LeBlanc played her high school ball at Port Arthur Memorial HS.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What about Recaps?

I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer; so, maybe this has been discussed or mentioned before.

The last few days I noticed there aren't very many recaps listed on Yahoo's women's college basketball (Division I) scoreboard for completed ball games. However, there are recaps to all (if not all, 90 plus percent) of the men's college games completed.

For example, about 66 women's college games are listed on
yesterday's Yahoo NCAA women's scoreboard; but, only only three games have recaps posted. In addition, none of the games have box scores either. Conversely, all of the men's college games posted on yesterday's scoreboard list contain box scores and recaps.

Why the discrepancy?


Does Yahoo! only use the Associated Press for the recaps?

I assume all of the women's teams have people in their respective sports information departments who write game summaries; so, why doesn't Yahoo post links to those summaries? Clearly, Yahoo! receives the final scores for the women's college games from someone; so, what's going on with no box scores and no recaps?
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Owls Top Trojans

BRRRRRRRRR!

I'm back from Reliant Arena; and, my body is finally back to 98.6 degrees. If you attend a basketball game at Reliant Arena this season or in the future, heed this advice: bring a jacket (or a coat). You'll need it. Trust me.

The Rice Owls women's team defeated Arkansas - Little Rock, inside the cold and drafty Reliant Arena, 49 to 39. The game was filled with defense (or perhaps both teams simply were too cold to make any baskets). The Trojans shot 26.4% (14 for 53 from the field) while Rice made just 33.3% (16 for 48) of its field goal attempts.

Neither team took care of the ball either: UALR committed 20 turnovers; the Owls turned the ball over 25 times. (The Owls played the game without senior point guard Kadie Riverin who sat out the game with an injured ankle.) Riverin's absence was sorely missed.

Rice (5-1) was led by senior center Valeriya Berezhynska's 18 points -- in just 20 minutes of action. Val sat most of the first half due to foul trouble.

UALR (2-2) was led by senior Nikya Hughes' 10 points.

Rice led 18 to 15 at halftime.

Berezhynska scored 10 straight points during a 15 to 5 run to help the Owls gain control of the game. Freshman post Morgan Mayse added nine points (4 for 6 from the field) for the Owls.

Rice heads to Colorado later this week to participate in the Coors Classic. This Friday, November 23, the Owls will play the Clemson Tigers who are coached by former Owls head coach Cristy McKinney. Tip - off is set for 6pm (CST).
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UH Close but not Quite

The Houston Lady Cougars lost a thrilling one point game, 69 to 68, to Middle Tennessee State in front of a loud but small (452) crowd at Hofheinz Pavilion Monday night.

The game started as a snooze fest.

Neither team scored for two minutes. Houston cracked the scoreboard first with two free throws from senior guard Tye Jackson at the 17:45 mark. (Jackson finished the game with 15 points: but, it was clear her left knee bothered her throughout the second half.)

Despite seven turnovers in the game's first five minutes, UH led 5-0 after a three-point play from freshman Courtney Taylor.

MTSU's Anne Marie Lanning ended her team's drought with a three point basket at the 14:28 mark.

The Blue Raiders tied the game at 9 at the 12:53 mark; then, MTSU turned up the defensive pressure and UH panicked and fumbled the ball away nine times over the next eight minutes. Seven turnovers came in a four minute "spell from Hell" as the Lady Cougars were outscored 18 to 4 and trailed 27 to 13 with 8:15 left in the first half.

Freshman guard Brittney Scott came off the bench and scored five points to help UH inch closer to MTSU. UH senior guard Twiggy McIntyre added six points as Houston managed to finish the first half trailing MTSU by just seven (41 to 34).

Taylor started the second half with two lay ups sandwiched around a jumper from MTSU's Amber Holt. Houston limited their turnovers and tied the game at 49 on a lay-up from McIntyre.

Then, Amber Holt took over. Holt scored nine straight points: three straight baskets on turnaround jump shots; and, a three point play after hitting a pull up jump shot and drawing a foul. Next, Holt assisted on a lay up by Anne Marie Lanning. Seconds later, Lanning added two free throws to give MTSU a 62 to 49 lead with 7:08 left in the ball game.

Over the next five minutes, UH could not get much closer and trailed 69 to 58 with 2:01 remaining.

Then, the Lady Cougars began a surprising and stunning come back. McIntyre made a basket; Brittney Scott swished a three point basket 36 seconds later; Tye Jackson picked up a steal and was fouled. Jackson made the first free throw; missed the second attempt; but, Courtney Taylor rebounded the missed shot and drew a foul. Taylor drained both free throws to pull Houston within four (69 to 65) with 1:06 left.

MTSU turned the ball over as Scott picked up a steal; then, Scott came down the court and swished a three point shot to trim Houston's deficit to one point (69 to 68) with just 37 seconds remaining. The Blue Raiders turned the ball over with nine seconds remaining; so, Houston had a chance to cap off a stirring come back.

Jackson received the inbound pass; dribbled up the court; attacked the basket; stopped in the paint and took a tough jump shot which fell short. McIntyre rebounded the miss; and, between two MTSU defenders, flipped up a shot that rolled off the rim.

Game over. MTSU 69, UH 68.

Three freshman played very well for Houston: Courtney Taylor finished the game with 18 points (7 for 7 from the field); four rebounds; and two blocked shots. Brittney Scott added 14 points. Brittany Mason led Houston with eight rebounds.

Houston shot 48.1% (45 for 52 from the field) and 78.9% (15 for 19) from the free throw line.

MTSU's Amber Holt led all scorers with 30 points and 15 rebounds.

The Cougars head back on the road this week for the National City Xavier Invitational at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cougars take on Xavier at 7 p.m. CST Friday, Liberty at 5 p.m. Saturday and McNeese State at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Fans can listen to a free internet radio broadcast of all UH games this year by clicking on the Stretch Internet Broadcast link at UHCougars.com.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Ezell, D-Rob, and Nash Earn Big 12 Honors

Today, the Big 12 announced Heather Ezell (Iowa State) was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week while Danielle, "D-Rob", Robinson (Oklahoma) and Kathleen Nash (Texas) were chosen Rookies of the Week by a media voting panel for games of Nov. 12-18.

All three received their first weekly honor.

2007 - 2008 Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Schedule and Results
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Fulton and McFadden Earn Weekly Honors

I understand why conferences announce co-award winners -- more exposure for more players; but, personally, I believe it's a cop out. Simply choose one winner. But, that's just my opinion.

Anyhow...

...Conference USA has named Crystal McFadden of UAB and Rice's Maudess Fulton as Co-Players of the Week after solid performances last week against tough competition.

McFadden averaged 24.5 points and shot 72.7 percent from the field against Illinois and Auburn, while Fulton contributed 20.5 points and shot 48.5 percent from the field against Cal State Northridge and a tough UCLA team.

CRYSTAL MCFADDEN, UAB, 5'10, Senior, Guard, New York, N.Y.

McFadden shot 72.7 percent from the field and 93.3 percent from the charity stripe while tallying 49 points in back-to-back 20-plus point outings as UAB went 1-1 during the week. She scored a game-high 25 points in the Blazers' 69-55 rout of Illinois in Champaign, followed by 24 points in UAB's loss at Auburn. The senior guard is averaging 19.3 ppg on the year and also has 4.3 rpg.

MAUDESS FULTON, RICE 5'10, Junior, Guard, Morristown, N.J.

Fulton averaged 20.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as Rice went 1-1 over the weekend. She also shot 48.5 percent from the floor as the Owls defeated Cal State Northridge, 81-55, and battled a tough UCLA team to a 79-71 loss.

Fulton connected for a career-best 27 points at UCLA, who is receiving votes in the WBCA, ESPN, USA Today Top 25 Poll. The New Jersey native knocked down an impressive 11-of-21 from the floor to go along with eight rebounds in 37 minutes of action. She also grabbed eight rebounds against the Bruins falling two rebounds shy of her second career double-double. Fulton started the weekend with a 14-point effort and three steals in at Cal State Northridge.

Rice improved to 4-1 on the season, its best start since the 2001-02 season.

The Owls play Arkansas - Little Rock, Tuesday, November 20, at Reliant Arena. The game tips off at 5 pm because it's part of a doubleheader with the Rice Owls' men's basketball team which starts at 7:20 pm.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Comets at Reliant Arena?

I first wrote this on November 7; then, I posted it on the HRR message board; now, I'll copy and paste it here:

I went to Reliant Arena tonight to check out the men's exhibition game between the Rice Owls and Incarnate Word; and, guess who I saw?

First, Hilton Koch, owner of the Houston Comets; and, next, Karleen Thompson, Comets head coach.

Hilton was on his phone when I saw him; and, we shook hands (then, I went to eat). If you're wondering whether they were there to check out the game, I'd have to say you're wrong.

Karleen walked around the arena with three gentleman looking at the facility; and, a friend of mine told me one of the three gentleman was involved with operations at The Summitt. Karleen spoke with these men for quite a while.

Hmmm...What do you believe is going on?
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ags White Out for Year

A few Aggie fans in attendance at last Friday's game between Texas A&M and SMU described Tyra White's knee injury as "bad".

They were correct:

Texas A&M women’s basketball player Tyra White (Kansas City, Mo.) will undergo surgery in December to heal a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

The six-foot freshman guard suffered her season-ending injury in four minutes of play in A&M’s season opener at SMU on November 9, in Dallas. One of the nation’s most-heralded recruits out of Kansas City’s Hickman Mills High School, White was rated as the No. 17 overall prospect in the class of 2007 by HoopGurlz.com. A McDonald’s High School All-American and Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, she was rated the fourth-best shooting guard in the country by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report.
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Thoughts on ESPNU Invitational

I was in Tampa, FL, on Thursday, November 15, for a few reasons:

First, to see the ESPNU Invitational double-header: Duke vs. USF and Tennessee vs. Oklahoma.
Second, since Tampa is hosting the 2008 Women's Final Four (April 6 and 8), I wanted to check out Tampa as sort of a "scouting trip" to learn where the hotels (especially the media hotel); the St. Pete Times Forum; and a few of the hot spots were located.
Third, since I don't have ESPNU at my house, I wanted to see Candace Parker and Courtney Paris in person.

Mission accomplished.

Now, a few thoughts on the games.

Despite playing the game without starting guard Abby Waner (sprained ankle), Duke simply outclassed USF. Duke freshman Jasmine Thomas is a very impressive athlete. She's very quick and she's a great leaper, too. Center Chante Black was too tall (6'5) and too athletic for USF. Duke won the game easily 89 to 52.

The Oklahoma - Tennessee had an exciting ending; and, overall, the game lived up to a lot of the hype; however, the game featured too many whistles from the refs. Forty-four fouls (21 on Tennessee and 23 on OU) were called in the game. In addition to calling fouls, the refs called 'traveling' a great deal. (During the off season, the NCAA said the refs were encouraged to call 'traveling' more and more. Well, officials Erik Brewton, Mary Day, and Metta Roberts did just that throughout the ball game.)

The attendance was announced as 6,331 which is very good considering ESPN didn't market the game very much in the Tampa area. Most of the fans in attendance were Tennessee fans; so, the St. Pete Times Forum was filled with Lady Vols orange-clad people.

During the first part of the game, at 6:19 of the half, OU's Courtney Paris missed the second of two free throws; and, Tennessee's Candace Parker and freshman Vicki Baugh both grabbed the miss. The ball bounced off their hands and swished through the basket. Two points for OU. Simple, right? Apparently not so simple for the people inside ESPN' studio.

Those two points put the Sooners ahead 20 to 16. Everyone sitting at the scorer's table agreed on the score. However, after a few minutes, someone from the ESPN studio called to say the official scorers had the score incorrect. No one agreed with ESPN; so, for the remaining minutes of the first half and for much of the halftime, people were discussing the rules in order to justify their scoring decision.

I'm not talking about which OU player received credit for the points because, as I learned at halftime, the NCAA recently changed the rule to award the team for the points instead of "the player closest to the ball". For some reason, someone at ESPN (I never learned which person) apparently believed OU was credited with one too many point. Go figure. A free throw is missed. The ball is live. If it happens to bounce into the basket off a player on the court, it's worth two points. How difficult is that to understand?

Back to the game...

...Parker and teammate Shannon Bobbitt played the entire game for the Tennessee. Bobbitt scored a career-high 27 points while Parker scored 28 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Parker missed six of her 14 free throws; but, she's definitely gotten stronger in her upper body. Her skills on offense have improved; and, she played defense with a lot of intensity, too. No other Tennessee player scored in double figures. Tennessee committed 19 turnovers in the game.

Courtney Paris scored 19 points and pulled down 16 boards. She was called for three fouls in the first half; but, she didn't pick up another foul. Freshman guard Danielle Robinson added 14 points; four assists; and four steals. Robinson is legit. Or as Courtney told the media after the game, "She's good." Four other players scored 7 points; but, no other OU player scored in double digits. The Sooners turned the ball over 22 times. OU missed 12 of 25 free throws, too.

The game wasn't decided until the final seconds; so, all in all, the Tennessee - OU match up (which Tennessee won 70 to 67) was very entertaining -- especially considering this was just the first full week of the college basketball season. Hopefully, the game does a good job "generating some excitement" for the 2008 Final Four. Both teams hope to return to Tampa in April. I do, too.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Page and Smith earn Big 12 Weekly Honors

I guess it's clear I need to spend time keeping track of the Big 12 North, too:

Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Players of the Week (November 12)

IRVING, Texas -- Danielle Page (Nebraska) was named Big 12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week while Nicollette Smith (Kansas) was chosen Rookie of the Week by a media voting panel for opening weekend games. Page received her second weekly award after earning Rookie of the Week in the 2004-05 season.

Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week
Danielle Page, Nebraska, F, 6-2, Sr, Monument, Colo.
Danielle Page had a career weekend while leading Nebraska to wins over UTEP and Mississippi, a participant in the 2007 NCAA Elite Eight. In her first career start, the 6-2 senior forward led the Huskers with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field vs. UTEP. She also added nine rebounds and a block. Page then poured in a career-high 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting vs. Ole Miss. She produced team highs of eight rebounds and two blocks while holding UM’s Shawn Goff to four points and four rebounds after Goff had averaged 20 points and 10.5 rebounds in exhibition play. For the week, Page averaged 23.0 points and 8.5 rebounds on 20-of-30 shooting from the field. Her 20 field goals led the Big 12, while her shooting percentage ranked among the Top 10 in the league.

Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week
Nicollette Smith, Kansas, F, 6-2, Fr, Tulsa, Okla.
Nicollette Smith turned in a game-high 19 points off the bench in leading Kansas to a season-opening win over Hartford. The 6-2 freshman forward also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to collect her first career double-double. Smith made 4-of-7 shots from beyond the arc and all seven of her free throws. She hit 4-of-4 from the foul line during the final minute of the game to help seal the win for the Jayhawks.
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Owls' Val Named Player of the Week

Conference USA Women's Basketball Player of the Week
For the week ending November 11, 2007 --

Valeriya Berezhynska, Rice, 6'4, Senior, Center, Nikolaev, Ukraine.

Berezhynska led the Rice to a 3-0 weekend and the Winthrop Adidas Classic crown after averaging 26.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. She earned Tournament MVP honors, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor, in addition to a 72.7 clip from the foul line.

After sitting out the season-opener against Navy (with a sore ankle), Berezhynska returned to the lineup to score 22 points in 22 minutes of action against North Texas. Rice finished the second half by scoring 12 of the game’s final 14 points, after trailing 63-57 with 8:07 remaining. Playing with four fouls down the stretch, Berezhynska poured in eight points during that run.

The Ukraine native saved her best effort for the tournament finale and matched her career-high with 31 points against the host Eagles. She added 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double in her last eight outings dating back to last season. Rice fought back from a 47-37 deficit with 7:33 left in the second half. At 51-48 with 2:28 to go, Berezhynska hit two critical free throws along with clutch three-pointer on the right baseline with 20 seconds left to force overtime. Berezhynska added five of Rice’s 11 points in the overtime frame as the Owls emerged with a 63-54 triumph and started the season 3-0 for the second consecutive season under head coach Greg Williams.


“We’re pleased that Valeriya was able to earn this award,” head coach Greg Williams said. “She was a deserving candidate and put together two great performances in close games after entering the weekend questionable to play.”

“We limited Val’s minutes against North Texas because she hadn’t practiced for two weeks,” Williams said. “Before the game on Sunday, our trainer, Dawn Stuckey, told us she was good to go for as long as we needed her. She ended up playing 40 minutes. That’s a credit to her hard work she put in during the off season.”

Congrats to Val for earning the weekly honor. As I mentioned in this
September blog post, Val has the ability to be one of the top players in Conference USA this season. Perhaps this honor is simply the start of a very big season for her.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Aggies Prep for Team USA

Many people (members of the media, fans, coaches and players) are looking forward to Sunday's game between the Texas A&M Aggies and Team USA (aka 2007 USA Basketball Women's National Team). The game is scheduled to start at 6pm inside Reed Arena on the A&M campus.

In celebration of Veterans Day, all local veterans will receive two free tickets to the game and additional tickets can be purchased for $2. Former and current Corps of Cadets members along with local VFW members will be in attendance. Karan Chavis will perform “God Bless America” at halftime, while a court-size American flag is unfolded by the Corps.

A few of the Aggies players took a few minutes to express their thoughts about the game.

"It's going to be a good experience for us," Danielle Gant, junior forward said. "We're not going to say 'we're going to lose' because we are a good team; but, we're going to learn a lot of things from the USA Team."

"What I look forward to," said redshirt sophomore forward Ashlaa Horton. "is to be on the court with some of the great names in women's basketball. Matching up with Lisa Leslie -- that's awesome in itself."

"It'll be great," said Takia Starks, junior guard. "Lisa Leslie is my favorite player. I met her last year when we went to Los Angeles for the NCAA Tournament. To be playing on the same court as her, for me, that's surreal. I think we're going to have a good experience. Learn from them. The outcome is the outcome; but, we'll have a great time of course.

"Actually, I bought a basketball; so, hopefully, she'll (Lisa Leslie) sign it for me," added Starks. "And, I'll frame it. This game is a big deal to me. I met her for the first time last year; and, being able to play on the same court with her on Sunday, I don't know if there's going to be trash talking or what. But, hey, if it is, bring it on (laughs). I think it's going to be a great game. I'm very excited."

"We will not watch one film on the US National Team," Gary Blair, Aggies head coach, emphatically stated. "I promise you. It's no film to watch. You just admire. We will play our game and have some fun with it; but, the game is not going to be the Washington Generals versus the Harlem Globetrotters. I promise you. It's not set on who's going to win. We'll get with it.

"It's going to be special. I want to be able to seize the moment; but, at the same time, I want to be able to honor the Veterans who will all be getting in free for this ball game. I want everybody to come out and have a good time; but, I want to see some people pay at the window, too. Don't wait around for a free ticket. I want them to see that we have a good product; and, I know Team USA has a good product. I want them all to come out."
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Friday, November 09, 2007

UH Surges in Second to beat TSU

A win is a win. Pretty or otherwise. The Houston Lady Cougars defeated the Texas Southern Lady Tigers 76 to 58 in front of 506 fans Friday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.

UH trailed TSU 27 to 20 with 4:40 minutes left in the first half. However, UH seniors Ryan Meyers and Tye Jackson led a 13 to 3 run to end the first half and send the Lady Cougars into the locker rooms with 33 to 30 lead.

Houston's offense got into a rhythm in the second half as TSU began to wear down due to foul trouble and the lack of healthy players. (Only eight Lady Tigers played in the game.) UH led by as many as 21 points (70 to 49, 5:39 mark) in the ball game.

Jackson led UH with 18 points in the game. TSU's Jamela Lewis scored 18 to lead the Lady Tigers.

TSU committed 16 turnovers in the first half; however, Houston's ice cold shooting (10 for 32 from the field and 11 for 18 from the foul line) kept the game close.

TSU finished the game with 24 turnovers while UH committed 17 turnovers.

The Lady Tigers shot 18 for 56 (32.1%) from the field for the game. UH shot 36.6% (26 for 71) from the field.

Eleven of the 12 Lady Cougars who played in the game scored at least one point. Ryan Meyers scored 14 points; senior forward Whitney James added 12 points; while guards Twiggy McIntyre and Jasmine Johnson each scored nine points.

Camille Parks scored 11 points for the Lady Tigers and Jessica Vann added nine points and seven rebounds.

Houston out rebounded TSU 51 to 44.
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Coach Curl's Care Page

I was told it's okay to pass this information along:


You've been invited to visit Joe Curl's online CarePage. A personalized Web page, called a CarePage, has been created for Joe so you can easily receive the latest news, view photos and share messages of support.

To visit the CarePage, please click the link below:
http://www.carepages.com/ServeCarePage?cpn=UHCougar&cid=eminvite
(If you cannot click through this link, please copy and paste the entireURL into your browser's address window.)

...or you can use these manual instructions:

1. Go to www.carepages.com
2. Click "Visit a CarePage"
3. Register (first-time users only)
4. After you've registered, enter this exact CarePage Name: UHCougar

Once you register, you can also post your own words of encouragement on the message board.
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ags vs Chinese Natl Team

Updated: 11/3/07, 5:13 pm...
Final score: Aggies 76, Chinese National Team 70. Attendance: 3,528.
Trailing 56 to 53, Danielle Gant injured her right knee after China's Miao Lijie scored on a backdoor lay-up. Gant laid on the court in obvious pain. The tests (ACL) were done on the knee; and, she was helped off the court. She did return to the bench late in the game with her knee wrapped. However no word yet on the injury.

With Gant out of the game, LaToya Micheaux went to work and scored during a 14 to 6 run to help the Aggies take control of the game.

Gant finished the game with 20 points and five rebounds.


Updated: 11/3/07, 4:00pm...
Halftime score: Chinese National Team 37, Aggies 31.
The National Team carved up the Aggies' defense in the first half shooting 18 for 26 from the field. Thirteen of the baskets came from assists. China's Chen Nen (6'4, center) is a perfect 5 for 5 from the field). The scary part for the Aggies is China committed 11 first half turnovers.

A&M was led by 12 points from freshman Tyra White (6'0, guard / forward). White shot 5 for 5 from the field (including 2 for 2 from three-point range). Her jump shot is pure. Danielle Gant added 10 points. Takia Starks hit a three-point shot with two seconds left in the half to cut China's lead to six points.

China has out rebounded the Aggies 16 to 11.


Posted: 11/3/07, 2:38pm...
After this morning's Rockets' shootaround, I left H-town to head to College Station for the 3pm tip-off between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Chinese National Team.

I'm inside Reed Arena getting for the ball game; and, I just finished a segment on KGOW 1560 AM (The Game) discussing hoops.

After the ball game, I'll head back to Houston for tonight's Rockets - Blazers game.

I'm curious to get a look at the Aggies in this game.

No one can doubt my love of basketball.
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Friday, November 02, 2007

Coogs Lose to Jags

The Houston Jaguars defeated the Houston Lady Cougars 83 to 80 in front of a very, very empty Hofheinz Pavilion Friday night.

The final score isn't important to me because the game was an exhibition game. The Jaguars took advantage of horrid free throw shooting by UH (15 for 30) to trim a 10 point halftime deficit throughout the second half.

The Jags finally took the lead 77 to 76 on a put back basket by former Lady Cougar Darla Simpson with under two minutes left in the game.

If you check out the
box score, fans of the WNBA and local college teams will see a few very, very familiar names on the Jaguars' roster: Barbara Turner, Marla Brumfield, and Umeka Webb.

The Lady Coogs played passively down the stretch and their transition defense was awful in the second half. UH missed far too many lay ups which helped to account for much of the frigid field goal shooting in the second half (29%, 11 for 37).

After scoring 12 points in the first half, UH's Twiggy McIntyre scored only five points in the second half. McIntyre made just one of her six shots in the second half; and, more importantly, McIntyre did not play aggressively down the stretch when her young teammates needed someone to stop the proverbial bleeding as the Jaguars closed the game with a finishing run.

Despite tonight's woeful showing in the second half, the Lady Cougars should still have a successful 2007 - 2008 season. UH opens the season next Friday, November 9, with a 5:30 tip-off versus Texas Southern.
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Coach Curl Update

Updated, 11/2/07, 1:50pm.
Coach Curl made it through surgery. He's now resting. He'll be in I.C.U. for a few days.


Posted: 11/02/07, 10:20am --
I received this message about an hour and a half ago; but, I'm at work right now and I just got a few minutes to write this news:

Joe Curl, Houston Cougars women's basketball head coach, is undergoing double bypass surgery this morning.

Earlier this week Coach Curl suffered a mild heart attack and a few news reports stated
Coach Curl would have single bypass surgery.

Send Coach Curl a
"Get Well" wish.

Keep "The Big Man" in your prayers.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rice @ HBU (ex)

Rice versus Houston Baptist University at Sharp Gym.

Tip at 7:30

Listen Live on TSRN or if you prefer GameTracker.

Huskies fans sure are loud. Loud PA announcer, too.

Two of the Owls top three players, senior guard Kadie Riverin and senior post Valeriya Berezhynska, are not playing tonight. Their absence makes a very big difference for Rice. A lot of young, inexperienced players make for a sloppy exhibition game.

At the under 8 minute time out, Rice led 21 to 15. HBU was 4 for 18 from the field; plus seven turnovers. Rice was 8 for 17 from the field with six turnovers.

A lot of fouls called in the game, too.

Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy.

With 3:52 left in the firs thalf Rice leads 31 to 20.

Halftime score Owls lead the Huskies 39 to 25.

HBU shot 6 for 27 from the field; 12 for 19 from the foul line. They turned the ball over 11 times. Courtney Wilson scored nine points (2 for 8, 5 for 5) to lead the Huskies.

Rice shot 14 for 30 from the field, 7 for 11 from the line. Nine turnovers. Senior Tiffany Loggins led Rice with 11 points (5 for 10 from the field.)

15:55 left, HBU has pulled within 10 -- 44 to 34. Huskies' forward has sparked the run with six points in the first four plus minutes.

HBU now trails 44 to 38, 14:10 left.

With 11:51 left in the game, Rice leads 49 to 46. HBU's JasminMoore has scored 13 points -- 10 in the second half.

At the 7:39 mark, Rice has stretched the lead to 63 to 51. Sophomore guard Tara Watts has 17 points. Freshman post Morgan Mayse has played well on offense with 10 points. Mayse has made all five of her field goal attempts.

The Owls' perimeter defense needs to improve a great deal.

HBU has not given up in the ball game. HBU's pressure defense is causing Rice a few problems. Rice turned the ball over on consecutive possessions; and, the Huskies capitalized with fast-break points to trim Rice's lead to nine points (71 to 62) with 3:33 left in the game.

Final score: Rice 82, HBU 72.

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