WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: UH hopes to rock Miami like a hurricane
The UH women’s basketball team continues its road trip as it takes on Miami at 11 a.m. today in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Cougars (3-1) are coming off a disappointing 72-54 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, La. They played tough and rode their defense to a 12-8 lead halfway through the first half, but could not keep up with an extremely talented Tigers squad.
Head coach Joe Curl said there were plenty of lessons to be learned in the loss, but the team’s focus must now be on stopping the Hurricanes (4-0). UH holds a 7-1 advantage over Miami in the all-time series and has won the last seven matchups, including each of the last three seasons.
‘We learned a lot playing LSU, but that game’s past us,’ Curl said. ‘We’ve had success against Miami over the last three years, so we’ve got to pick up where we left off.’
The Cougars are led in scoring by C-USA Player of the Week Courtney Taylor and Brittney Scott, who average 17.3 and 15.8 points per game, respectively.’ Although Curl enjoys being able to rely on Taylor and Scott’s production, he knows the team will have to develop a more balanced attack.
‘It’s a work in progress,’ Curl said. ‘Any time you can get more balance in scoring, it puts more pressure on the other team.’
Even though the Cougars have played only four games, Curl recognizes the strides made by other players.
‘Leslie Mason has made a tremendous impact on our team,’ Curl said. ‘She’s strong and quick goes to basket well.
‘Ashley Joseph has improved a lot from last year. She’s someone we can put in there and count on.’
UH will face a difficult opponent in the undefeated Hurricanes, a team winning games by an average margin of 25 points. At the same time, the Hurricanes will face an opponent with a winning record for the first time in UH.
Stopping the Hurricanes will be a tall order, as one of their best players is sophomore forward Shenise Johnson, a 5-11 shooter who can operate in the low block or knock down jumpers from the top of the key. She was elected to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-freshman team and was an honorable mention on the all-ACC team. She was also the only player to lead her team in points, rebounds and assists last season.
Curl believes UH has the athletes’ to slow her down and put pressure on’ her teammates’ to score.
The Cougars were rewarded last week when they played aggressive defense around the basket, which helped keep them close to a potentially Final Four-bound LSU squad.
After today’s game, the Cougars travel to Fort Collins, Colo. to participate in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The team then returns home to host North Texas at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Hofheinz Pavilion.