Lady Cougars are rolling
By Brad Sebastian
Daily Cougar Staff
There could be a Final Four game at Hofheinz
Pavilion this season.
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Senior Valerie Muoneke will
lead the Lady Cougars into battle against Valparaiso in the third round
of the Women's National Invitational
If the UH women's basketball team (24-7)
wins its quarterfinal game on Wednesday night, it will advance to the semi-finals
of the Women's
National Invitational Tournament.
Depending on what officials decide, that
semi-final match-up could be played at Hofheinz.
The Lady Cougars' ride through the WNIT
began with a thrilling 67-65 victory over cross-town rival Rice in UH's
first ever post-season home
On Saturday night, the Cougars advanced
to the quarterfinals by downing the Miami Hurricanes 83-76.
The Cougars' post-season success has largely
been the result of outstanding performances from senior center Valerie
Conference USA Player of the Year sophomore
So far in the tournament, Muoneke's and
Jones' combined statistics account for 37.5 points and 21 rebounds per
Jones is well aware of Muoneke's presence
on the floor.
"My teammates (during the game against
Rice) just came up to me and told me to do whatever I needed to do," Jones
said. "They had my
back. Especially Val (Muoneke)."
Freshman Shondra Bush and junior Angela
Curl have made the extra effort as well.
Valparaiso (26-6) will play host to the
Cougars on Wednesday at the Valparaiso Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso,
The Crusaders are one of the hottest teams
in the country. They advanced through the WNIT with road victories at Michigan
and Ball State.
Valparaiso's 26 wins are already a school
The Crusaders are led by senior Marlous
Nieuwveen. The 6-5 center earned All Mid-Continent Conference honors this
season by averaging
11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
All-Conference junior Jeanette Gray leads
the Crusaders in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per game.
Freshman Katie Boone could give the Cougar
defense some trouble. Boone earned the Mid-Continent Newcomer of the Year
posting the league's best assist/turnover
ratio at 2.0.
Crusader head coach Keith Freeman took
home the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year award. Freeman led
his team to its first
conference title in school history.
The Cougars will enter Wednesday night's
game with 24 wins — just two shy of the school record of 26 set during
the 1977-78 season. Their
current season winning percentage of .774
is the best in school history.
The winner of Wednesday's game will face
the winner of the quarterfinal match-up between Vermont and Virginia Tech.
The time and location
are to be determined.