Lady Cougars prep for
By Brad Sebastian
Daily Cougar Staff
The UH women's basketball team (21-6, 11-3
in Conference USA) heads to Chicago this weekend to compete in the C-USA
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Freshman guard Shondra Bush
dishes the ball off to a teammate under the basket. Bush scored a career-high
21 points against
DePaul in the Cougars' most recent game.
The Lady Cougars are seeded second in
the tournament and will receive a first-round bye. Their first game will
be against the winner
of the first-round match-up between Memphis
If everything coming together at the right
time is the prescription for success in the post-season, the Cougars have
to like their chances
Winners of seven consecutive games and
12 of their last 13, the Lady Cougars are hitting stride at just the right
Sophomore All-American candidate Chandi
Jones continues to dominate, and is arguably the conference's most valuable
heading into the tournament. Jones recently
passed the 1,000-point mark in just her second year of college ball.
If there were any questions about key reserve
Shondra Bush returning from her finger injury, they were answered in Sunday's
against DePaul. Bush showed no lingering
effects as she scored a career-high 21 points.
Bush will be a huge key for UH. Bush has
been a scoring punch off the bench for the Lady Cougars and may even see
given her performance against the Blue
Senior post player Valerie Muoneke is playing
at the top of her game as well. She pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds
the second most in school history.
All signs are pointing in the right direction
and head coach Joe Curl has high aspirations for his team.
"Our goal is to win a championship," Curl
said. "There are five or six teams capable of winning it, and I think we're
one of them."
Texas Christian won the regular season
conference title to earn the top seed in the tournament.
No. 25 TCU is 22-5 overall, 12-2 in conference.
UH lost both regular season meetings with the Lady Frogs.
Cincinnati (23-4, 11-3 C-USA) brings a
very talented team to Chicago. The No. 23 Bearcats are considered one of
the favorites to win
The lady Cougars beat the Bearcats in overtime
in the teams' only regular-season meeting, 89-78, at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The tournament sleeper could be Tulane.
Tulane is 20-9 overall and 8-6 in conference. Winners of four games in
a row and five of its
last six, the Green Wave could be a dangerous
draw for any unsuspecting team.
Against the top five teams in the field,
the Cougars have a combined 3-2 record. Both losses came against the Lady
The winner of the tournament earns an automatic
berth into the NCAA tournament field of 32 teams. The Lady Cougars may
strong enough regular-season record to
earn an at-large berth, but Curl said he would rather not leave his team's
future to chance.
"We want to earn (a berth)," Curl said.
"We're in it to win it. We don't want anyone to give us anything."