Houston looks to get back to winning
The Cougars will attempt to get over their two-loss skid at home against Middle Tennessee State tonight.
UH returns home after a two game West Coast roadie, where they dropped games to Cal State Bakersfield and Cal Poly by 12 and 5 points, respectively.
Those two losses moved the Cougars to 1-2 in the season. The Cougars haven’t recorded a victory since their season-opening win at home against Texas Southern on Nov. 9.
The Cougars will have to shoot better from the field, after a paltry 22.8 percent from the field, including a 3-15 performance from beyond the arc against Cal Poly on Thursday.
Middle Tennessee (1-1) has yet to win on the road this season, and is coming off of an 89-62 win over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday.
In that game, Middle Tennessee shot 61.1 percent from 3-point range, and 50.8 percent in all field goal attempts. The Blue Raiders also forced 33 turnovers in their first home win of the season.
In its last outing, Middle Tennessee had five players with 10 points or more, including a 19-point performance by senior guard Amber Holt.
Middle Tennessee won the Sun Belt Conference last year, a campaign that was marked by placing first in scoring and scoring margin.
The Blue Raiders made 45 percent of the field goals they attempted and led the conference in steals (465) and turnover ratio (+11.65).
These statistics are certainly ominous from the perspective of the Cougars, who have turned the ball over 69 times, while only forcing 57.
The Cougars will have to be less generous with the ball against the Blue Raiders if they hope for a victory at home. They will also have to be aggressive on the boards, which they have been so far this year as they have out-rebounded their opponents 154-125.
Middle Tennessee was at the bottom of the Sun Belt in offensive rebounds, and in the middle of the pack on the defensive boards last year.
Look for Cougar senior guard Ryan Meyers (20 rebounds) and freshman center Cobilyn Hill (19 rebounds) to step up and limit the Blue Raider offense’s second chances.
The final key to victory in this game should be the play of senior guards Twiggy McIntyre and Tye Jackson. McIntyre leads the team in points (50), points per game (16.7) and field goal percentage.
McIntyre and Jackson will have to spark the offense, while limiting the turnovers, which has been a problem for both players this year.
If the Cougars can win the turnover battle, and shoot better than they have so far this season, they have a good shot at a win in this game.