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Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 62

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Coogs so far, so good in preseason; Grace Daley predicted C-USA's best

UH/C-USA Women's Basketball Notebook

By Jesse Lauritz

The UH women's basketball team opened preseason play Nov. 9 with an impressive showing against the Houston Jaguars.

Led by Cathy Lida and Nakea Mitchell, the Lady Cougars handed the Jaguars an 88-81 defeat.


Lady Cougars ShaRonda Lasseter (24) and Monet Sykes (23) are two of the players head coach Joe Curl expects tolead the Houston attack this season.

Pete Medrano/The Daily Cougar

Lida scored a team-high 22 points. Her three-pointer with less than two minutes to play sealed the victory for the Lady Cougars.

Mitchell added 17 points, while ShaRonda Lasseter put up 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The overall performance was exceptional for the Lady Cougars, especially since the seven new players accounted for practically 60 percent of the points.

The UH women's basketball team will play its second and final exhibition game of the season against the Houston Flight at 7 p.m. today in Hofheinz Pavilion.

The women's basketball program received an added boost after head coach Joe Curl announced that Chandi Jones and Nicole Oliver had signed national letters of intent with the Lady Cougar basketball team for the 2000-01 season.

Curl -- only in his second season at UH -- has already started building a solid team in an attempt to win the Conference USA championship this year by signing five junior college transfers and two high school seniors last year.

Jones and Oliver are considered two of the best recruits in the state of Texas and are both Nike All-Americans.

Jones, a 5-10 guard from Bay City High School, was named the Houston Chronicle's preseason Houston All-Area Player of Year.

Oliver is also a 5-10 guard. She is from South Sioux City High School in Sioux city, Iowa.

C-USA Preseason Picks

The 1999-2000 C-USA Preseason Awards as selected by the league's head coaches are as follows:

Preseason All-Conference Team:

Grace Daley, Tulane, Sr., G

Jill Morton, Louisville, Sr., G

Madinah Slaise, Cincinnati, Sr., G

Deanna Jackson, Alabama-Birmingham, So., G

Abbie Willenborg, Marquette, Sr., F

Preseason Player of the Year:

Grace Daley, Tulane, Sr., G


Tulane's Grace Daley was selected as Conference USA's preseason selection for Players of the Year.

Cougar file photo

Marquette and Tulane were picked as champions of the American and National divisions, respectively, with Houston slated for a fourth-place finish in the preseason polls.

Marquette returns all five of its starters, including senior forward Abbie Willenborg.

Willenborg has averaged a double-double her entire college career with 15.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. The two time All-C-USA selection could become the third player in Marquette history to tally 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Tulane also returns three of its starters, including preseason favorite Grace Daley.

Daley ranked third in the league in scoring with 19.1 points per game and second in free throw percentage. She is fourth on the C-USA all-time scoring list with 1,557 points.

Top 25 shakeup

After only two games, the women's college basketball season has produced some major changes in the Associated Press poll Monday.

However, Connecticut still remains on top because it has yet to play, receiving 34 of the 43 first-place votes from the national media panel.

The major shuffle is at the No. 2 position, where national powerhouse Tennessee resides. Louisiana Tech beat the Lady Vols 69-64 in the Tip-Off Classic on Sunday, jumping Louisiana Tech to second from sixth.

Other notable changes included North Carolina State moving to No. 9 from No. 20 after beating Rutgers 68-55 in the same event Sunday.

The losses dropped Tennessee to fifth and Rutgers from fourth to 10th.
 

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