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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003


Memphis third team in AP poll

C-USA notebook

Ernest Salas

At least one of the big cats is having a good season this year.

Memphis raced into The Associated Press poll after upsetting Louisville on Feb. 19 and taking care of business against South Florida on Saturday. The No. 24 Tigers (19-5, 10-3 in Conference USA) thrashed the lowly Texas Christian Horned Frogs on Wednesday, 88-64.

Aside from being the third C-USA team in the AP poll, the Tigers have legitimized the National Division. The Cougars arenit leading it anymore, but at least the first-place team can hang with Marquette and Louisville.

Senior center Jeremee McGuire and the Houston Cougars havenit been great this season, but theyill most likely make it to the Conference USA Tournament on March 12.

Allen Cernosek/The Daily Cougar

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have lost two consecutive games and fallen out of the top 10 ­ and out of first place in the American Division. Itis OK. Itis not like having a team in the top five meant national recognition for the conference or anything .

The ladies

UH is nowhere near the top of the conference, but aside from Houston, which other C-USA womenis team matters to anyone?

One can only hope the Lady Cougars are saving all their strength for the conference tournament, because they sure havenit lived up to expectations -- to this point. UH (in a three-way for 11th place in the conference) could secure a spot in the tournament with a win against Alabama-Birmingham in its season finale Sunday.

Players of the Week

Men -- Marque Perry, Dwayne Wade

Well, Saint Louis is everywhere isnit it?

Senior Billikens guard Marque Perry made it two consecutive weeks with at least a share of the Conference USA Player of the Week award. He led his team to a stirring 58-55 win over Cincinnati at the Shoemaker Center (the Billikensi first road win of the year) and brought Saint Louis back from the brink of utter disaster against DePaul in Chicago. He averaged 19.5 points and five rebounds as the Billikens improved to 12-12 (6-7 in C-USA). Way to go.

Junior Marquette guard Dwayne Wade earned at least a share of the award for the fourth time this season. Wadeis Golden Eagles passed Louisville in the AP poll and in the American Division after wins over Charlotte and Texas Christian. They werenit victorious against the cream of the crop, but Marquette has been able to keep rolling while the Cardinals continue to slip. Wade averaged 21.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the wins.

Women ­ Debbie Merrill

Sophomore Cincinnati center Debbie Merrill earned her first C-USA Player of the Week award after averaging 22.5 points and eight rebounds in wins over DePaul and Marquette. Merrill scored 27 points in the Lady Bearcatsi 71-67 overtime win over the Lady Blue Demons on Friday.

The worst

As of press time, the menis basketball team was a mere .24 percentage points ahead of the South Florida Lady Bulls. The Cougars were playing Tulane on Wednesday so we may be just one loss away from tying the South Florida womenis team for the worst overall won-loss record in the conference.

As bad as that is, the Cougars at least have a competitive team when it comes time to play a conference schedule. At least UH is going to the C-USA Tournament on March 12. Where will Texas Christian be? Itill be back at home in Cow Town.

The Horned Frogs are a woeful 2-11 against C-USA teams. The Frogs are the worst. The Frogs arenit going anywhere. The Frogs visit Houston on Saturday. Gig iem.

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