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Volume 69, Issue 89, Thursday, February 12, 2004


Lady Coogs mine for win vs. 49ers

by Barrett Goldsmith
The Daily Cougar

The Lady Cougars are playing as well as any team in the country, and they aren't likely to slow down anytime soon.

Houston is 19-3 overall and 8-1 in Conference USA, and the team has lost only one of its previous 15 games. That one blemish was a 77-75 loss to Louisville on Jan. 25, snapping a 10-game winning streak. The Lady Cougars picked up right where they left off before the game, beginning another winning streak that now stands at four games. 

Senior guard Chandi Jones has been a rock for the Lady Cougars this season. Jones was named the Conference USA Co-Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

UH will try to make it five consecutive games when it faces Charlotte at 6 p.m. Friday in Charlotte. The Lady Cougars then travel to East Carolina for a game at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

Though the team has been solid at Hofheinz Pavilion (6-2), it has been efficient on the road, winning 12 of its 13 road games and all five C-USA road games. 

At stake this weekend is Houston's position atop C-USA. The Lady Cougars are tied with DePaul in the conference standings (8-1), though DePaul would be the top seed if the tournament began today because of its better overall record (20-2). 

But Charlotte is also still in the hunt for the top spot. The Lady 49ers are 14-8 overall and 7-2 in C-USA, one game behind the two leaders. They bring a balanced offensive attack, with five players averaging between nine and 12 points per game. 

Sophomore Pam Brown leads the Lady 49ers with 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Charlotte has had trouble on the boards, being out-rebounded by opponents by an average of more than seven per game. 

East Carolina won't be in the mix for the C-USA regular-season championship (5-4), but the Lady Pirates also have a 14-8 overall record. The team is coming off a narrow 70-69 loss to Memphis on Sunday. 

The Lady Pirates have an intimidating presence inside, with forward/center Courtney Willis leading the team with 18.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Willis is shooting a robust 56 percent from the field.

The Lady Cougars have their own double-double machine in junior forward Sancho Lyttle. The junior-college transfer is averaging 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in her first season with the team.

And senior guard Chandi Jones has continued her prodigious scoring and defense. Jones earned C-USA Co-Player of the Week honors this week for her triple-overtime performance against Tulane on Sunday. Jones scored 39 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists, came up with five steals and added a blocked shot.

Head coach Joe Curl is preparing the team for the C-USA Tournament in March, but his focus -- and the focus of all his players -- is getting to the NCAA Tournament.

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