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Friday, September 29, 2023


Houston faces back-to-back weekend

The UH women’s basketball team will be tested in a game that counts when it starts the season against Southeastern Louisiana at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Hofheinz Pavilion.

UH head coach Joe Curl said his team might be nervous, but is ready to play.

"In the first game you have to expect the unexpected," Curl said. "We’re going to deal with it the best way we can."

The Lions return four of their top five scorers from last season, so the Cougars’ defense will receive an early assessment.

"If we’re going to have success this year we’ll have to play excellent defense," Curl said.

The Cougars’ stamina will also be tested, since their second game of the season is at noon Saturday against Gardner-Webb.

"The purpose of having back-to-back games is to prepare for possibly playing three or four straight days in the Conference USA Tournament," Curl said. "We try to do that during non-conference play to see how we respond to a quick turnaround."

The Gardner-Webb Bulldogs do not have any seniors on their team, which means Saturday’s game will showcase of young talent.

"We could start two freshman and three sophomores, so there will be a lot of youth out there," Curl said.

Gardner-Webb’s size could cause problems for the Cougars. Bulldog junior center Sandra Vaitkute, at 6 feet 6 inches, is three inches taller than UH sophomore center Cobilyn Hill. Junior center Sherika Montgomery is another solid rebounder who could create a dilemma in the paint for UH.

Curl said freshman Porsche Landry will start at point guard because her ability to push the ball suits Curl’s up-tempo offense well.

"We want to make the other team go faster than they want so we can create turnovers and do a lot of trapping," Curl said.

Another key will be for Hill to have a better start than she did against the Houston Jaguars.

"I’m looking for more consistency from her. She just has to finish her shots," Curl said. "We have the depth to handle this, but it’s just a matter of whether we get production out of everyone."

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