Women’s basketball team routs UTA in opener
The Cougars overcame any first-game jitters and imposed their defensive presence early in an 88-48 rout of Texas-
Arlington at Hofheinz Pavilion on Sunday.
“I want this to be NCAA-championship basketball,” said head coach Todd Buchanan, who made his regular-season debut with the Cougars. “That means I want every game to feel like if we don’t win, we don’t advance. That’s what I wanted to challenge them individually and collectively early on.”
The Cougars collected 32 points off turnovers, and converted 26 second-chance points — proving their defense was their best offense.
“Our defense brought on our offense after we got off to a slow start,” forward Courtney Taylor said.
Added Buchanan: “That’s why I’ve always been a defensive philosophy coach. There’s going to be nights like that, whether we’re here or on the road, where balls aren’t going into the baskets for a while, but we can always guard. We can always guard and defend, and I think that’s the brand and the backbone to every championship team.”
Brittney Scott scored 18 points in her 62nd consecutive start. Taylor added 18 points and 10 rebounds as she moved into 10th place behind Sharonda Lasseter on the school’s career scoring list.
“I think I was playing too fast at the beginning,” Taylor said. “I missed a lot of easy shots and got into foul trouble by not being as disciplined as I should be. In the second half, I picked it up and was able to stay on the court longer.”
Porsche Landry, Lesslee Mason and Roxanna Button all reached double digits in points with 15, 12 and 11, respectively.
Mason usually plays forward but started at center in Sunday’s contest.
“Being a forward playing center, sometimes I have an advantage because I’m quicker than the other post players,” Mason said. “It’s very difficult, but I’m getting used to it. I just have to get over it, step up and play the position.”
It’s not unusual to see the Cougars slay the Mavericks. UH now holds a 9-0 all-time series lead over UTA. However, this win had special significance, as it was the 100th of Buchanan’s career.
“I’ve told them from day one that I’m going to be all in,” Buchanan said. “You can’t play the school board; you can’t play the competition at times. You got to play and push to be the best individually and collectively, because that gives us the best chance to be the best team we can be.”
The Cougars will take their show on the road for a four-game stretch that starts with New Mexico State on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.