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Friday, September 22, 2023

Women's Basketball

Cougars on verge of notable milestones

The Cougars will be aiming to set both team and individual records as they take on UAB tonight in Birmingham, Ala.

Not only would a fifth straight victory tie the program’s best start in conference play, but Brittney Scott is two three-pointers away from breaking Chandi Jones’ career mark.

Courtney Taylor is seven boards shy of the UH career mark.

“They’re everything to our basketball program and they have been everything for four years,” head coach Todd Buchanan said. “They’re two of the hardest working, most dedicated kids I’ve ever coached in 23 years, and that says a load right there. In the first stint I was here we had several kids go to play professional basketball, two or three of them get drafted and played in the WNBA.

“Hopefully they can both achieve those goals against UAB and we’d love to come back and recognize them in the near future when we come back home.”

Taylor and Scott will take the conference-leading UH offense into battle against a UAB squad (9-8, 1-3) that has allowed the fewest points per game in the conference, but also sports the conference’s second-worst offense.

Making opponents uncomfortable

Buchanan is not worried about the Blazers grind-it-out style.

“It’s like the old cliché, we’re going to dance with the one that brought us,” Buchanan said.

“I want to force people to change to our pace of play and that’s obviously served us well to this point. Southern Miss and even SMU and even UTEP in certain situations, they don’t want to play in the 70s, 80s or certainly not 90s — we do.

“I think that goes back to also knowing not only the system, but also the opponent. Our kids have done a phenomenal job of buying into whichever way we have to go. If we have to beat somebody 65-62, that’s fine. I’d rather push and get into the 80s and even the 90s. I think that serves us well.”

The Blazers won their last game against Memphis after opening C-USA play with three consecutive losses.

The Cougars have won the last four meetings between the teams in Birmingham, but the all-time series is tied after their first 20 meetings.

Greater aspirations

Buchanan says that while a 4-0 record is not what he might have envisioned, it is the type of start that could key something greater.

“You hope that you get off to a great start to your season,” Buchanan said. “But the circumference of the season embodies non-conference, conference and then postseason.

“From day one, my vision was to be a postseason team.”

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