Hi 66 / Lo 46
|Volume 69, Issue 106,
Monday, March 9, 2004
Matt Dulin Barrett Goldsmith Zach Lee
People are finally starting get excited about UH basketball again, and this time it doesn't involve Phi Slama Jama.
At the end of this season, Hofheinz Pavilion finally came alive, drawing crowds that had come to see college basketball at its finest.
And Sunday in Fort Worth, it finally became official. The Lady Cougars won the Conference USA Tournament in dramatic style, squashing the Texas Christian Lady Horned Frogs this season.
But this game wasn't about sticking it to TCU or even getting a higher seed in the NCAA Women's Tournament, though it certainly did both. Houston should get at least a No. 3.
This was about showing C-USA, and soon the country, that UH athletics can represent the school graciously and professionally.
None of the players showboat or try to call attention to themselves — they are a team in every sense of the word.
While there may be no "I" in this team, there is certainly an "i" in its undisputed leader.
Chandi Jones' star has shone brightly in all four of her years at UH, but it was never more brilliant than on this spectacular Sunday, when Jones scored 36 points, including 24 in the second half to secure the game and the C-USA crown for the Lady Cougars.
With Jones graduating after this season, Sancho Lyttle will undoubtedly carry the Lady Cougars next season, and head coach Joe Curl should feel confident that his team is in more than capable hands.
But the Lady Cougars aren't looking that far. They are looking to the NCAA Tournament and a chance to add even more icing to this cake that has become so sweet over the last five months or so.
The men's team may be struggling, but this group of ladies is more than picking up the slack.
Go Lady Coogs!
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