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Thursday, December 2, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 71

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A natural 'Lida'

Transfer sparks Lady Coogs' success

By Jesse Lauritz
Daily Cougar Staff 

Cathy Lida (pronounced Kay-tee Lee-dah) has led the Lady Cougars to a 1-3 record that could just as easily be 3-1.

Lida was the leading scorer in two of UH's first four games and is the overall leading scorer with an average of 14.3 points per game.


Cathy Lida has been the biggest addition to the Lady Cougars' roster this season, averaging 14.3 points and leading Houston in improving its team so far this season.

Max LacayoThe Daily Cougar

The 6-1 forward/guard was born and raised in France and has only been living in the States for the past three years, while playing collegiate basketball.

In her freshman year, she played at Neosho County Junior College in Kansas. She was selected as the conference MVP and named to the all-conference first team.

She then transferred to Trinity Valley Community College, UH women's head basketball coach Joe Curl's former team. She led the Lady Cardinals to a 36-0 record and the NJCAA national championship while averaging 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.0 assists per game.

"Winning the championship was great," Lida said. "It was one of my best memories. It was special, very special."

After coming off the championship season, Lida was scouted by recruiters from across the nation. She had offers from such colleges as West Virginia and Western Illinois, but eventually chose UH.

"Coach (Kurt) Budke knew Coach Curl and spoke very well of him and then I came on a visit," Lida said. "The campus, the activities and team impressed me and I chose UH over West Virginia."

Lida is playing exceptionally well ­ but don't tell her that. She feels that there is definitely room for improvement on her part.

"I need to rebound and box out more," she said. "Plus, more blocks would be nice, too.

"At Trinity, I played more underneath the basket at the four position and now I'm at the two or the three, so it's a little different. I need to re-adjust a little bit," she said.

Lida knows that the Lady Cougars have a long road ahead of them and that the team needs to improve in one area.

"We need to improve mentally," she said. "We have the potential to do some big things. The way we approach games is the key. Against UL-Lafayette, we were not on the same page, but against New Mexico, it was a challenge because we knew we could beat them."

The Lady Cougars face No. 2 Georgia on Sunday at Hofheinz Pavilion as part of the Hilton Houston Hobby Airport Classic and Lida knows how important the game really is.

"It is a big game and anything is possible," she said. "If we approach the game the same way as we did against New Mexico ­ with the same defense and pressure the ball a lot ­ we will force them to commit mistakes."

Lida's leadership has been vital to the team's effort, but she doesn't cut the rest of the team short.

"Everyone on the team needs to be a leader because we need everyone to be one," she said. "This year we need to come together, but I'm a leader like everyone else."

As the Lady Cougars look to have a winning season, Lida will try to keep the fire in UH's tenacious defense.

Lida may not think she's a natural leader, but she certainly plays like one on the court.
 

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