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 28, 2008

Comets Sold?

HOUSTON, TX -- I have been unable to confirm this news; but, I was told the Houston Comets have been sold.

Earlier this week I heard a group of local people were close to reaching a deal to buy the Comets; so, I could assume this group is purchasing the team. However, this news is specualtion without confirmation.

A few weeks ago, I was told the WNBA would run the Comets in 2009.

A decision -- either way -- must be forthcoming because, typically, the WNBA announces its upcoming basketball schedule in December.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Owls blasted by Baylor

HOUSTON, TX -- The Rice Owls competed with the #9/#10 ranked Baylor Lady Bears for much of the first half Sunday afternoon; however, the valiant effort by the Owls was not enough as Baylor pulled away and defeated Rice 83 to 58 before a very partisan Baylor crowd of 1311 fans inside Rice's Tudor Fieldhouse.

Rice sophomore Morgan Mayse gave the Owls a 2 - 0 lead with a made jumper at the 19:16 mark of the first half; but, after Owls' freshman point guard D'Frantz Smart gave the Owls a 5 to 4 lead with a made three-point shot at the 18:02 mark, Rice would not lead the Lady Bears the rest of the ball game.

"I think today's game was a learning experience for us," said Owls senior Maudess Fulton. "We knew they were ranked 10 and they showed us why. They were just so aggressive on the offensive rebounding side and defensive rebounding and just aggressive taking it to the hole. They really showed us how it should be done and we can learn from that and I think we will."

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half; but, Baylor's physical strength began taking a toll on Rice as the Owls couldn't keep Baylor senior Rachel Allison off the glass. Allison finished the first half with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Allison (16 points and 14 rebounds) and sophomore guard Melissa Jones finished the game with double-doubles for Baylor. Jones added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Baylor finished the first half with a 14 to 2 run in the final 3:08 to take a 45 to 25 lead into the locker rooms.

"I thought the run at the end of the half was a big, big momentum push for us," said Kim Mulkey, Baylor head coach. "I also thought the first five minutes of the second half, we outscored them I think 12 to 2 in the first five minutes. I thought that was important."

Rice trailed 59 to 37 with 15:39 left in the ball game; so, the remaining minutes became a learning experience for the Owls as well as a time to compete and improve.

"We don't really know who we can truly depend on from one game to the next to give us any kind of consistent performance," said Owls head coach Greg Williams. "And that's a coach's nightmare quite honestly. But, we're trying to work through it."

Williams also made a very telling statement about his team's toughness.

"We played scared at times. That will happen sometimes with young players; but, we've got some veteran players that are playing tentative. They're playing scared; and, at this time what are you going to do about that."

Baylor outrebounded Rice 52 to 38 for the game.

"I thought Rachel Allison and Melissa Jones -- their uncanny ability to give us second and third opportunities with offensive rebounding. That's effort. That's will. It takes a little work to be an offensive rebounder; and, I thought those kids just kept getting us more touches."

Allison added, "We weren't hitting our first shots; and, the fact that we didn't we had to rebound our ball and get another shot. Second-chance shots are key in every game. You don't want your opponent to get second-chance shots; but, you want to get as many as you can and we did a really good job of that tonight."

After the game, Allison was modest describing her performance.

"I don't think it was anything that I did. I just fed off what my teammates did. Our scoring was pretty balanced; and, that's what we have to do to win is produce."

For the third time in their four games thus far this season, five Lady Bears (4-0) scored in double-figures led by Allison's 16 points.

In addition to Baylor's dominance on the glass, the Lady Bears also attempted 38 free throws (making 25) to just 19 attempts for the Owls.

"They shoot 38. We shoot 19," said Coach Williams. "Usually the team that shoots the most free throws is the more aggressive team and that exemplies that they were. They made six more than we even shot."

Coach Mulkey commented on how the women's game is more physical now compared to previous years.

"In the Big 12, it's almost 'no blood no foul'. As aggressive as we are, I can assure you there's probably 20 teams in the country that are as aggressive. That's just the way the women's game has evolved now. You have to play hard. The little touch fouls are no more. You're out their battling and banging. Bigger, faster, stronger now-a-days That's in a lot, a lot of places."

The Owls (2-1) host Furman this Tuesday afternoon. Tip is set for high noon.

"That's a quick turnaround for us," Coach Williams acknowledged. "We'll see. That's the beauty of a quick turnaround. You get a chance to see if we truly learned anything about playing harder, playing tougher and sustaining it for a 40 minute game."
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Friday, November 21, 2008

UH 70, Miami 64

HOUSTON, TX -- As the 2008 - 2009 season progresses, time will tell just how big the 70 to 64 win by the University of Houston over the Miami Hurricanes was Friday night. Clearly, Houston's win over a team from the highly touted Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a nice feather in the cap for Conference USA; but, more importantly, the win may boost the confidence of the young Houston squad.

Houston (3-1) suffered a 69 to 47 loss on the road to Oregon State earlier this week; and, for all practical purposes, that game was over by halftime. However, the Lady Cougars continued to compete in the second half and actually won those 20 minutes of action.

"We started to scatter and we lost our composure," said Houston head coach Joe Curl on the loss to Oregon State. "At halftime, we had a 'come to Jesus' meeting about competing. It wasn't a matter of winning the ball game at that point. The team really grew up in that second half."

The second half showing helped UH in the matchup with Miami Friday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Hurricanes (1-2) jumped to a 10 to 4 lead thanks to eight points from LaToya Cunningham; but, Houston responded to the challenge to tie the game at 10. Once UH's sophomore sensation, Courtney Taylor, put Houston ahead 12 to 10, Houston led the rest of the first half and took a 34 to 30 lead into the locker rooms.

Taylor produced eight points and six rebounds in the half; but, teammate Jasmine Johnson (sophomore guard) came off the bench and sparked UH with 10 points (4 for 6 from the field) and four rebounds. Freshman point guard Porsche Landry added eight points in the first half.

"It's not about what I did," said Jasmine Johnson. "It's about team. I just did whatever I needed to do to help my team win."

Miami began the second half with a 7 to 2 burst to lead 37 to 36 with 18:16 remaining; however, Houston's Brittney Scott (sophomore guard) drained her first of four second-half three point shots to put the Lady Cougars back on top.

The game see-sawed back and forth for the next eight minutes until Houston's lone senior Zane Jakobsone broke a 53 to 53 tie with a made jumper. Then, Brittney Scott hit another three-point shot to give Houston a 58 to 53 lead with 8:53 remaining in the game. Jakobsone scored all eight of her points in the second half to help UH keep the Hurricanes at bay.

"I thought Zane stepped in and did an incredible job not only offensively but defensively," Curl commented.

Miami made one final push thanks to freshman forward Shenise Johnson. Johnson made key plays on offense and defense to pull Miami within three points (twice) in the final two and a half minutes. Johnson finished the game with a game-high 21 points.

Miami sent Houston to the foul line; but, Taylor and Landry combined to shoot 7 for 8 from the charity stripe to help seal Houston's victory.

Taylor scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds for her third double-double in four games.

"Boxing out is important because, as a small line up, you have people that are taller than you which could cause easy put backs which can get you down; so, boxing out is very important," commented the 6'0" Taylor.

Landry and Johnson eached scored 13 points while Brittney Scott finished the game with 12 points.

"I think that was a big win for us," Taylor said after the game. "Last year, we started out super slow. Miami is a very big win. We know they were after us because we had beaten them three years straight."

Houston heads back to the road this Tuesday, November 25, with a game versus top-25 TCU. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mayse Helps Owls Top PV

HOUSTON, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) -- Morgan Mayse, sophomore forward for the Rice Owls, capped off a scattered yet hard fought basketball by hitting a 25-foot (at least) three point shot at the buzzer to give the Rice Owls a 47 to 45 victory over Prairie View A&M Wednesday night.

"It was exciting. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen," said Mayse about her game-winning shot. "I knew we needed to a shot off; thanks to Maude (senior Maudess Fulton) she got me a pass and it went in."

The game was not a thing of beauty; but, both teams were definitely competitive throughout the contest.

Rice led 26 to 20 at the half despite limiting Prairie View to just 5 for 29 shooting (17.2%) in the opening 20 minutes. The Owls shot 10 for 29 (34.5%); but, the Lady Panthers (or Pantherettes) repeatedly broke down the Owls defense and went 10 for 12 from the foul line.

"I was disappointed in how they got to the rim so much," said Owls head coach Greg Williams on his team's perimeter defense.

Prairie View attacked the basket often throughout the game; but, PV simply struggled to finish their drives with made baskets. Prairie View made only 15 of their 55 field goal attempts in the game for a frigid 27.3%.

"We've just got to learn how to finish," said PV head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.

Rice scored the first seven points of the second half to lead 33 to 20; then, PV turned up the intensity on offense and defense to tie the game at 35.

"I take pride in the fact we came back from 13 points down in the second half," Cooper-Dyke added. "But, I'd also like to note we should have been down 13 points in the first place."

Coop continued to get specific on her teams travails.

"What we needed to do was fix some small things like making lay-ups; like making free throws; taking care of the ball. I thought we played hard -- that was one battle won. The next thing we have to do is come and execute in the half-court offense and learn how to finish games."

After PV guard Gatti Werema made two free throws to give the Pantherettes a 45 to 42 lead with 2:16 remaining in the game, PV did not score the rest of the game.

Rice freshman post Candace Ashford hit two free throws at the 1:52 mark to pull Rice within one (45 to 44).

Prairie View (1-2) forward Chari Smith missed a jump shot at 1:36; but, Rice committed a turnover on their next possession. Candice Thomas missed another jump shot which would have given Prairie View a three point lead; Morgan Mayse rebounded the missed shot at the 43 second mark.

Rice junior guard Tara Watts missed a contested three-point shot with 21 seconds remaining; and Prairie View picked up the the team rebound. Smith was fouled by Ashford with 17 seconds left in the game. Smith, who was 3 for 4 from the foul line up to that point in the game, missed both foul shots.

Rice (2-0) rebounded the miss and called timeout with 13 seconds remaining. The Owls executed a great play which resulted in a great shot by Mayse with six seconds on the clock. The shot attempt rimmed out; but, Prairie View was unable to hold the rebound and Rice kept possession with just three seconds on the clock. After a 30 second timeout, the Owls scrambled to inbound the ball; Maudess Fulton caught the pass; but, she passed to Mayse and Mayse broke the hearts of the PV fans by swishing the shot as the game clock expired.

Mayse led the Owls with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Candice Thomas led PV with 14 points while Chari Smith added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

"I feel bad for Cynthia and her team," said Greg Williams after the game. "That was a grind it game for both teams. Both teams were struggling to score. Both teams showed a lot of heart. They competed hard. Shots weren't falling for either team. They (shots) were at a premium. We just happened to hit one at the buzzer setting the table for our match up with Baylor on Sunday."

Rice hosts top ten Baylor Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Taylor and Button Earn Honors

HOUSTON, TX --- Friday and Saturday night, the Houston Lady Cougars began the season with two wins in less than twenty-four hours; and, to top off those two victories, sophomore Courtney Taylor and freshman Roxana Button earned Conference USA honors.

Taylor was named the C-USA Player of the Week while Button was named the C-USA Rookie of the Week.

Taylor averaged a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds in Houston's season-opening wins over Southeast Louisiana, 73-58, and Gardner-Webb, 79-58.

Button averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting .526 percent (10-of-19) in her Cougar debut.

The Cougars face their first road test of the season this week when they travel to Corvallis, Oregon to face Oregon State on Wednesday. The team is back in action at Hofhienz Pavilion Friday when it hosts Miami in a 7 p.m. contest.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

UH 79, Gardner-Webb 58

HOUSTON, TX -- The Houston Lady Cougars used balance scoring and solid defense to pull away from Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon in front of 378 fans inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston (2-0) won for the second time in less than 24 hours following Friday night's home opening victory over Southeastern Louisiana 73 to 58.

Sophomore center Cobilyn Hill led Houston with 18 points. Hill also grabbed 13 boards and controlled the paint with six blocked shots. All five Houston starters scored in double figures. Brittney Scott added 17 points (6 for 12 from the field, including 4 for 7 on threes). Teammate Courtney Taylor added her second double-double on the young season with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Freshmen guards Porsche Landry and Roxana Button each added 12 points. Landry (seven) and Button (four) also dished out 11 assists combined.

"I think it (Houston's depth) is a plus," said Courtney Taylor. "Because teams aren't going to be able to step everybody. Last year, we had two or three main scorers; so, when we struggled, we didn't have anyone who could step up. This year we have a lot of scorers and that's going to help us."

"I think our depth really helped us," said UH head coach Joe Curl. "I really feel in my heart we can do that on many, many nights."

Houston led Gardner-Webb 35 to 24 thanks to stifling defense in the first half which limited the Runnin' Bulldogs to 10 for 39 shooting from the field for just 25.6%.

Houston used a 15 to 8 run in the first seven minutes and five seconds of the second half to lead 50 to 32.

Gardner-Webb refused to go away and answered Houston's run with a 11 to 3 run over the next two minutes and 51 seconds to pull within 10 points (53 to 43) with 10:04 left in the ball game.

"We were in a dog fight when they cut it to ten points," Coach Curl admitted. "We had to get on our girls a little and get them to grind it out; and, all of a sudden it's a 20 point game."

Hill helped Houston end Gardner-Webb's final run when she began a 10 to 0 blitz with a layup with 5:04 remaining.

"I started slow," Hill said after the game. "But, I picked it up at the end. I just knew we had to win."

Houston's next game will be on the road versus Oregon State for a match up on Wednesday, November 19.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

TSU Announces 2 Signees

HOUSTON, TX -- Texas Southern University's Yolanda Wells-Broughton welcomed two new players to the Lady Tigers' basketball program as Krissica Harper (Midway HS in Waco, TX) and Tanija Beasley (Harvest Prep HS in Columbus, OH) signed National Letters of Intent with TSU.

"We are really excited to have these young ladies become a part of our family; and, we know that they will be great additions to our team," said Coach Wells-Broughton. "These young ladies will definitely be immediate impact players for our team."

Harper, 5'2", is a point guard from District 16-4A Champion, Waco Midway High School. She was also recruited by Penn State, Louisiana Tech, and Jackson State.

Beasley, 5'11", averaged 18 points per game last season. She chose TSU over Robert Morris, Texas El-Paso, Ohio, Akron, and IUPUI.

"We were extremely fortunate that these young ladies chose TSU for their academic endeavos and to play basketball collegiately," added Coach Wells-Broughton. They're going to be a valued addition to the foundation that we're laying down. I'm confident that they will help us take the program to a higher level."
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Owls Open House of Tudor

HOUSTON, TX -- The Rice Owls women's basketball team -- ladies first, of course -- officially opened up the Tudor Fieldhouse (re: the House of Tudor) Friday night with a 76 to 55 victory over Cal State Northridge.

Rice led 36 to 21 at the half and cranked up the offense and the defense to start the second half.

Owls junior guard Tara Watts scored the first basket in the new digs at the 19:37 mark of the first half. Watts finished the game with 13 points on just seven shots. She was 5 for 7 from the field including 3 for 5 on three point shots.

"I thought we shot the ball really well for not playing here very much," Watts said after the game. The Owls practiced in Tudor Fieldhouse Thursday for the first time.

The Owls connected on 27 of 59 from the field for 45.8%.

"We shot 46 percent; and, for us, that's good," said Owls head coach Greg Williams.

The Owls struggled a bit at the start of the game; and, the team admitted nerves played a role in the sluggish start.

"We were nervous. I think we were excited," said Coach Williams. "We started out a little shaky. They played a small team at times and were attacking the basket pretty well; but, once we settled down, I thought our defense was pretty solid for the most part."

"I was nervous," Owls junior post Emery Carter admitted. "But, I knew we had younger girls on the team; and, we can't look to them to set the tone; so, I had to compose myself."

Carter contributed six points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes of game action.

Morgan Mayes led the Owls with 16 points (5 for 11) and senior Maudess Fulton added 14 points (5 for 12).

Rice (1-0) hosts Prairie View A&M Wednesday, November 19, at 7 p.m.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Owls' Announce 4 Signees

HOUSTON, TX -- Yesterday, Greg Williams, Rice Owls women's head basketball coach, announced four new additions to the Owls' family.

Coach Williams announced the signing of Jessica Goswitz, Lacey Neu, Zoe Rogers and Opal Taskila Wednesday to National Letters of Intent to play for the Rice women's basketball program. All four players will enter as freshman for the 2009-10 season.

Goswitz (Knoxville, Tenn. - Webb School of Knoxville) is a guard, while Neu (Granbury, Texas - Granbury HS) and Rogers (Bellaire, Texas - Bellaire HS) are forwards. Taskila (Winnsboro, Texas - Winnsboro HS) is a post player.

Of the four players, I've seen Zoe play a few times. One of the games I saw her play, Zoe scored 27 points and earned Most Valuable Player honors of the H.I.S.D Tournament last December.

Good luck to all four young ladies.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ags Announce 4 Signees

COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Success breeds success. Coming off an Elite Eight finish in 2008, Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair capitalized on that success and announced the signing of four nationally ranked players to National Letters of Intent.

"We believe we are recruiting student-athletes that will keep Texas A&M competing to win a national championship every year," Blair said.

A&M’s heralded recruiting class is comprised of six-foot combination guard / forward Cierra Windham from Corona, CA, 6-foot-3 post player Diamond Ashmore from Midwest City, OK, 6-foot-1 wing player Kristi Bellock from River Ridge, LA, and 5-foot-7 point guard Adrienne Pratcher from Memphis, TN.
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KU Signs 2 from Houston Area

I'm on the media list for quite a few conferences and also few schools who are outside of the Houston area because athletes from the Houston area choose to continue their collegiate careers away from Houston. Case in point, today, the University of Kansas announced the signings of two high school players from H-town.

Kansas women's basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson announced the signing of two players Wednesday. Forwards Annette Davis (Bellaire High School) and Carolyn Davis (George Bush High School) signed national letters of intent to join the KU program beginning in the 2009-10 academic year.

Good luck to both young ladies; and, since KU is in the Big 12, I'll get the chance to follow their careers a little closer.
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UH Announces 2 Signees

HOUSTON, TX -- University of Houston head coach Joe Curl announced the signings of two high school players to National Letters of Intent today. Macy Morton and Zalika Dyson put ink to paper and joined the Lady Cougars' family.

Morton, 5'7", is currently in her senior year at Winnsboro High School in Winnsboro, Texas, where she has been the starting point guard for the Red Raiders for the last four seasons.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Dyson is a 6-foot-2-inch center who is a senior at Cibola High School. Dyson averaged 8.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a junior and helped CHS claim back-to-back district championships for the first time in school history.
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Rice's Wittmayer Ready for Bigger Role

HOUSTON, TX -- Melissa Wittmayer did not play a lot of minutes last season for the Rice Owls; however, the 6'3" sophomore center from Longview, TX, did finish second on the team in blocked shots. Wittmayer hopes to have a bigger role on the team in 2008 - 2009.

I spoke with Melissa after a recent basketball practice.


Sophomore post Melissa Wittmayer (“smart like witty and bologna like Oscar Mayer”)


I understand you had a knee problem a few weeks ago. How are you feeling?
“In one of the practices, I kind of tweaked my knee a little bit. I think they said it was a sprain or a bone bruise. It took a while before it healed enough so I could do everything. Now, it doesn’t hurt at all. We were really happy the MRI should there are no problems at all. No surgery or anything. I’m all good. I’m good.”


What’s different between this season and last season for you?
“I think I’ve gotten a lot more confidence. Freshman year, I came in and I was really, really nervous. I let the anxiety get to me. I think I’m in a lot better shape. The weights and the conditioning that we did in the preseason really prepared me a lot for practice. I don’t feel like I’m about to do in practice. I feel like I can do more stuff; I can be more a part of things. I’m better mentally and physically.”


Have you gotten stronger? Are you lifting more weight than you did last year?
“I am stronger. My legs have gotten a lot stronger. My arms are getting there. You can’t really tell (laughing) honestly. But, I’m a lot stronger than when I came here last season. I’m probably four times stronger than I was before. We have a new weight coach; and, he seems to know what he’s doing; so, hopefully, I’ll get a lot stronger. My whole body is aching for the work.”


What’s going to be your role on the team this season?
“That’s a hard question. Last year, since we had so many posts; and, we had Val (Valeriya Berezhynska) who was kind of like a power post. I felt like I was more of a cheerleader; but, this year, I feel like I’ll be in the games more. I’m trying to improve my offense and contribute that way; but, defensively, that’s where I hope to contribute the most with rebounds and blocks.”


Describe the style of play for the team this season.
“The way it looks there’s going to be a lot of movement. That’s what we’ve worked on in practice. We’ve had a lot a conditioning -- a lot harder conditioning this year than last year; we’re in much better shape. I feel like we’re going to be quick and we’re going to move a lot.

The Owls will officially open the "House of Tudor" this Friday evening, November 14, versus Cal State Northridge. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TSU Loses to Jaguars

HOUSTON, TX -- The Texas Southern University Lady Tigers played the Houston Jaguars Tuesday night at the H&PE Arena for the second time this exhibition game. Unlike the first match up on Halloween night, the Lady Tigers did not pick up a win as TSU lost to the Jaguars 60 to 57 in overtime tonight.

With 0.81 seconds left in the second half, TSU Junior guard / forward Jamelah Lewis sent the game into overtime by draining two free throws to tie the game at 51.

Former Houston Lady Cougar Brittani Williams hit a three-point shot to give the Jaguars a 58 to 55 lead with 1:38 left in the extra session. The Jaguars never trailed during those final 98 seconds.

"It was a great test for us," said TSU head coach Yolanda Wells-Broughton after the game. "I feel like we still have a long ways to go obviously. A lot of our weaknesses were exposed. Mainly in the turnovers. I feel like at least sixty percent of the turnovers -- of the 30 we got -- were self-inflicted."

TSU shot an ice cold 16.7% (5 for 30) in the first half and trailed the Jaguars 29 to 20 at halftime; however, TSU started the second half with more defensive pressure and forced the Jaguars to turn over the ball. The pressure defense helped TSU surge to a 13 to 3 run which put the Lady Tigers ahead 33 to 32 with 13:04 left in the second half.

"We felt like our veterans needed to set the tone for us offensively (to start the second half); so, we made a few adjustments and went that route," Coach Wells-Broughton added. 

The Jaguars were led by Brandi Jones' 21 points. Daphne Andre added 13 points and 10 rebounds; and, LaToya Mills chipped in with 10 points.

Jamelah Lewis' 19 points led the Lady Tigers.  Junior Inisha Daughtry pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with her six points.

TSU opens the 2008-2009 regular season this Friday, November 14, with a home opener versus Louisiana-Lafayette. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

"We'll come back tomorrow and get ready for Lafayette."
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Monday, November 10, 2008

UH Beats Jaguars

HOUSTON, TX -- The University of Houston Lady Cougars defeated the Houston Jaguars 70 to 61 in an exhibition (re: preseason) game inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Neither team shot the ball well from the field.

UH made just 24 of 73 (32.9%) from the field while the Jaguars made 24 out of 75 (32.0%).

Five Lady Cougars scored in double figures: three sophomores and two freshmen. Sophomore Courtney Taylor scored 17 points (7 for 19) and pulled down 10 rebounds; while center Cobilyn Hill scored 10 points (4 for 10) and hauled in 10 rebounds. Second-year guard Jasmine Johnson added 13 points and five rebounds while freshman point guard Porsche Landry chipped in with 10 points, eight assists, and four rebounds. Roxana Button added 12 points and five boards.

"I made my teammates better," sighed Landry after the game. "That was basically it."

"I give myself a 'B' because I know I can do better," added Landry.

Despite committing five turnovers, Roxana Button wasn't nervous.

"I was anxious. I was ready to go."

Button acknowledged her ball handling needs to improve.

"I did pretty well for the first time. I need to handle the ball a little bit better and grab some more boards."

The Jaguars were led by former UH Lady Cougar Chandi Jones' 20 points. Jones shot 8 for 18 from the field including 4 for 7 on three-point shots.

UH will begin the 2008 - 2009 regular season this weekend with two home games: a 5:30 p.m. tip off this Friday versus Southeastern Louisiana followed by a noon tip off versus Gardner-Webb on Saturday. 
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Owls' Ashford Adjusting Well

HOUSTON, TX -- This past Thursday, the Rice Owls defeated the Houston Baptist University Huskies 81 to 56 in an exhibition game. In that game, Owls freshman post Candace Ashford produced a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds).
Anthony Vasser, Rice Sports Information

Ashford's performance is a solid example of how far she's come since the first time I saw her this summer during Rice's "open gym" games; and, she said so as well.

When did I first see you?
“At open gym this summer.”

How long ago was that?
“In July? So, it’s been a few months.”

How did you do in July?
(Laughing) “Not too well.”

Compare July to now.
“Huge step forward. I’m in better shape. I feel like I can do more around the basket. I’m rebounding better. I’m just better all around.”

What did you do to improve your conditioning?
“Preseason workouts pretty much got me there. Running on the track. Hitting the weight room. Everything helped.”

Talk about the first exhibition game.
“That game gave us a lot of confidence. Not just me, personally, but the team as well. Hopefully, everything we did well in the exhibition game will transfer over to our game on Friday.”

Has the team had a chance to practice in the ‘House of Tudor’?
“Not yet. We’re supposed to practice there on Thursday; so, we only have one day to get adjusted to it. Hopefully, everything will work out.”

How have you adjusted to school?
“Pretty good. Better than I expected I guess. So far, I’m doing well in all of my classes. It’s a lot of work; but, I’m managing it.”
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Comets Update

I receive this from a Comets' fan who received the letter from a Comets' Accout Executive.

Greetings,

I wanted to give you an update to how things are looking in the Comets camp. We hope that by this month's end an owner will have been chosen. We are meeting with individuals and groups to see who would lead the Comets in the direction we need to be headed.

In our efforts to keep the Comets in Houston, We have set goals for 2009 season tickets. The league and our COO believes that if we are able to reach/exceed these goals, we will have the numbers to show the potential owner that Houston has a solid fan base. We feel that this will sway the new owners decision to keep the Comets here in Houston and improve here as opposed to moving the team to another city or state and re-building elsewhere.

Our goals were as follows:

As a team we needed to have 85% of our current season ticket holders return by November 15, 2008. I personally have the greatest number of season ticket holders and only 45% of them have turned as of today (November 3, 2008).

Next, as a team we needed 1200 new season ticket holders to commit to the 2009 season, with each season ticket holder representative commit to 200 new season ticket holders. Currently I have the most new season tickets, but I only have 30 of my 200.

I'm sharing this with you, because I need your help to reach/exceed my goal in our efforts to keep the Comets here in Houston. I thank each of you that have renewed and purchased additional seats on your account to help. I also want to thank those of who have purchased tickets and donated them to organizations like TexasTicKids.com and the Sam Houston Council Girl Scouts of America. If you have not committed to your 2009 season seats, now is the time to act.

In 2007, it was up to the owner to keep the team here. In 2009 it?s up to the fans. We can't continue without you!
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

TSU Tops Jaguars

HOUSTON, TX -- Check out this release from Texas Southern: "Lady Tigers Treat Fans to a Halloween Win".

The Texas Southern Lady Tigers defeated the Houston Jaguars 83 to 55 Friday night in front of 250 fans gathered inside the H&PE Arena.

The win was only one part of the treat the Lady Tigers gave to the fans. They held a mini carnival for the kids. The gym was transformed into a huge holiday playground with bouncing castles, games and sweet treats.

“We want to engage the community and let them know that we care and that we are their team. We also wanted to create a safe atmosphere for the kids to have fun,” stated TSU head coach Yolanda Wells-Broughton.

TSU will host the Jaguars once again on Tuesday, November 11, at 7:00 p.m.
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Two Frosh to Lead UH

HOUSTON, TX -- During the October 30 men's and women's basketball Media Day at the University of Houston, Joe Curl, UH women's head basketball coach made a comment which definitely caught my attention.

"I'm not the type of coach who likes to keep a lot of things hidden, so if we had a ball game tonight, I'm not sure we are not be starting two freshmen and three sophomores."

I asked Coach Curl to name the two freshmen.

"Porsche Landry. She has been playing lights out in practice and Roxana Button -- kid out of Coppell in the Dallas area. Both would deserve to have 20 to 25 minutes (per game). I believe we have to continue to have the type of program if you're good enough to start you do start."

Coach Curl added, "Right now, Porsche has been as good as there's been. She's got a motor that runs high octane all the time which kind of follows her name. She's a Porsche. She's really been very impressive in practice."

Two of the three sophomores Coach Curl are pretty obvious based on their solid play as freshmen last season.

"Cobi (Cobilyn Hill) is right there because she's so powerful. Courtney Taylor has really, really improved even from a year ago."

Hill (6'3) and Taylor (6'0) were both named to the Conference USA's All-Freshmen Team for the 2007 - 2008 season.

The third sophomore surprised me -- Brittney Scott.

"You can't overlook Brittney Scott," declared Coach Curl. "Brittney Scott may be our best player on the perimeter. I think she's the kind of kid that could 20 plus a game. I mean average that for the year."

Since Porsche (5'3), Roxana (5'9), and Brittney (5'6) are all guards, I mentioned to Coach Curl that's a three-guard line up.

"Yea. And, there's times we're going to play a four-guard line up because I think our strength is our quickness. I think our depth is going to better than it has been the last couple of years; and, I think we can rotate eight or nine kids in pretty easily."

In conjunction with Homecoming, UH will hold a "Tip-off Event" next Saturday, November 8, at 4 p.m. inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

UH hosts the Houston Jaguars Monday, November 10, at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game.
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