Lady Cougars win game
two of WNIT
By Christian Schmidt
Daily Cougar Staff
Head coach Joe Curl's team just refuses
to give up.
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Sophomore Chandi Jones led
the Lady Cougars to victory in the second round of the WNIT with 22 points.
The Houston women's basketball team advanced
to the third round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament on the
heels of a second-round
victory over the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday
The Lady Cougars defeated the Hurricanes
83-76 in a game that was close virtually the whole way.
The win extends Houston's record to 24-7
this season, which is the best winning percentage for a season in the program's
history, and the second
highest win total in school history.
A lay-up by Miami junior Meghan Saake pulled
the Hurricanes to within three at 75-72 with 1:20 remaining in the game.
Sophomore Chandi Jones
responded by hitting a long jump shot
with 44 seconds to go, putting the Lady Cougars back up by five.
A Houston foul sent Miami senior Sheila
James to the free-throw line, where she calmly stroked two shots, again
pulling the Hurricanes to within three
On the ensuing possession, freshman Shondra
Bush missed a three-pointer, but fellow freshman Kiki Harris was in position
to snatch the offensive
rebound and was then fouled by Miami.
Harris, who had hit only three of her first
six attempts from the line, sank both buckets, giving Houston a 79-74 lead
Senior Kathryn Fowler, who had six points
on the day, scored a bucket for the Hurricanes with just four seconds remaining,
making the score 79-76.
Cougar senior Valerie Muoneke was fouled
and hit both free-throws with three seconds to go.
With just six-tenths of a second to go,
Harris was once again fouled and hit both of her free-throws, putting the
Lady Cougars up by seven and making
the final score 83-76 Houston.
"What I was real proud of was the play
of our posts, especially our young posts," Curl said. "(Kiki Harris) went
from not having a real good half, playing
a little tentative, a little soft, to
playing like a 'wom-ster' — half woman, half monster."
Miami's entire team was larger than Houston's
in both height and size. The Lady Cougars were forced to use their quickness
and relied heavily on
outside shooting to carry them through
a rough game.
Only three fouls were called in the entire
first half as officials let the women play. The referees clamped down in
the second half, calling 25 fouls
between the two teams.
Jones, who was named Conference USA Player
of the Year, led Houston with 22 points and added seven assists and six
rebounds in 38 minutes of
"I was just trying to score or pass off
for the assist," Jones said.
The hero of the night, though, was Muoneke.
The 6-2 forward used her muscle down low and bullied the big Hurricane
Muoneke scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting
and added 14 rebounds to make it a double-double.
Shondra Bush added 20 points and four assists
off the bench for the Cougars, going 5-of-7 on her three-point shots.
Houston advances to the third round of
the WNIT to face Valparaiso in Valparaiso, Ind., on Wednesday night at
Should the Lady Cougars win, they will
proceed to face the winner of Virginia Tech and Vermont. That contest will
take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday.