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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Women's Basketball

Cougars going for No. 14 against Marshall

UH continues its march to an undefeated record in Conference USA tonight against Marshall at 6 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W. Va.

Winning their school-record tying 13th straight game against UTEP on Sunday, UH (23-4, 13-0 C-USA) clinched the conference outright and is now ranked No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Head coach Todd Buchanan says complacency won’t steer his squad off the right path against Marshall. The Thundering Herd are No. 11 in C-USA, but the Cougars are treating every game with must-win circumstances.

“They’re hungry,” Buchanan said. “They’re focused and understand what each and every game is. So far they’ve been up to do whatever it takes to win basketball games. Quite frankly, I think it’s become an attitude. As long as we can keep that within us, I think the sky is the limit, and we don’t have to stop at just being in the Top 25.”

The Cougars’ streak has seen a balance of tremendous guard play through penetration, fast breaks and outside shooting led by the speedy Porsche Landry and Brittney Scott.

Complimenting the guards has been solid interior play from Courtney Taylor and Lesslee Mason. Taylor and Mason have been the catalysts for the guards to get in transition through rebounding and quick outlet passes. Taylor — who notched her 57th career double-double Sunday — expects Marshall to try to slow the game down.

“They’re going to try to keep us from running the floor,” Taylor said. “They’re going to try to key in on me and Porsche and try to stop penetration in the half court.”

The Herd (8-18, 4-9) are led by senior forward Tynikki Crook who notched her 30th career double-double in the team’s third win in five games against Tulsa. Buchanan said Crook and her teammates will look to cause problems with their size.

“Marshall has great size,” Buchanan said. “We’ve got to contain and put pressure on the basketball, on the perimeter and make sure they don’t get a free look.

“They’re very similar to East Carolina with Jean Best and Gloria Brown with UTEP. They’re very well coached, and they’ll be well prepared. They run a lot of stuff out of a box set; they’re going to run their flex offense — and on made baskets, at times they’re going to fall back in a 1-2-2 press defense zone, and we’re prepared for that.”

The Cougars return to town for a rematch with Rice at 6 p.m. Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse.

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