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Volume 72, Issue 102, Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sports

UH hopes to survive C-USA tournament

Houston draws in Marshall for first round match-up

by JONG LEE
The Daily Cougar

This season has been a tough one for the UH women's basketball team, and things won't get any easier at the Conference USA Championship.

The ninth-seeded Cougars will kick off tournament play against eighth-seeded Marshall at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Making a strong run in the tournament will be a challenge for a Houston team that lost all 13 of its road games in the regular season. The Cougars' only victory away from Hofheinz Pavilion came against Prairie View on Dec. 15 at the Women of Troy Classic, a game that was played at a neutral site.

"We haven't proven ourselves on the road," UH head coach Joe Curl said. "There are 11 teams that are going to be playing on a neutral court (at the tournament), and only one team, (tournament host) Tulsa, is going to have home court advantage."

In the last meeting between Houston and Marshall, the Cougars were dominated in a 57-41 loss. Marshall took 18 Houston turnovers and converted them into 21 points, and the Cougars shot only 29 percent from the field.

"I think (Marshall) is a good match-up for us," Curl said. "Coaches always say, ‘it doesn't matter at all,' but I think this is a good pick for us because they haven't been playing as well."

Junior guard Tye Jackson sat out the first match-up against the Thundering Herd because of an injury, and Curl said having Jackson this time around would make a difference.

The top four seeds, Tulane, UAB, East Carolina and Rice, each earned first-round byes and will begin their play in the quarterfinal round.

Tulane will await the winner of the Houston-Marshall game.

"I saw the bracket and Tulane handled us twice, but I know we can play with them a little better than we have," Curl said.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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