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Volume 72, Issue 101, Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sports

Teams get new lease on season

Cougars hope to make strong run in tournament

by ARIE GRAHAM
The Daily Cougar

Regular season play is now over and it's time for the Conference USA women's basketball championship, which starts Thursday at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla., and runs through Sunday. 

Everything that has taken place before was just practice for this tournament, and each team starts out with a clean slate. 

All teams have faced each other at least once and should have a feel of what they'll be up against this week.

Ninth-seeded Houston will face eighth-seeded Marshall in the opening game of the tournament.

The Cougars were trounced 57-41 in the teams' last meeting Dec. 2.

This is the Cougars' lowest seed in the C-USA Tournament since 2003 when they entered the tournament as the 10th seed and lost to then-No. 7 seed Southern Miss 71-69 in the first round.

The Cougars will have to forget about the roller coaster ride of a season they have had and focus on the goal of winning a conference title.

In the tournament there will be no room for going on long scoring droughts or taking it easy in the fourth quarter, bad habits the Cougars have showcased this season.

The top four seeds, Tulane, Alabama-Birmingham, East Carolina and Rice, earned first-round byes and begin play in the quarterfinal round, which begins at 1 p.m. Friday. 

Following the Cougars' game Thursday, No. 5 seed Texas-El Paso takes on No. 12 seed Memphis at 3:30 p.m., No. 7 seed Southern Miss and No. 10 seed Tulsa face off at 6 p.m., and No. 6 seed Southern Methodist and No. 11 seed Central Florida play in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.

If the Cougars defeat Marshall, they will face top-seeded Tulane. The Green Wave beat UH 71-56 on Feb. 1 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The C-USA championship game will be televised on ESPN2 at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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