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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Women's Basketball

A season to be thankful for


UH redshirt senior point guard Porsche Landry smiled while being surrounded by reporters and teammates, answering questions in the glare of the cameras and the microphones around her. After sustaining an injury just three games in the last season, she is thankful to take the court again.

Landry started last year on a high, being selected for the Preseason All-Conference USA team and posted 37 points, seven rebounds and five steals in a losing effort against New Mexico State, during her first game.

In the first three games last season, she averaged 22 points, five rebounds and 3.3 assists in 34 minutes per game, setting the pace for a career year in what should have been her final season — it came to an abrupt end during a 36-66 loss at Georgetown.

“I’m ecstatic. It’s a blessing to be back on the court, because there were times where I didn’t think I would be back on the court again, so I’m just grateful,” Landry said. “It’s a huge release; it’s like getting a big elephant off your shoulders …I’m just looking forward to feeling the burn, the sweat and being out there with my teammates, building a new chemistry.”

For Landry, almost everything is new again — she has a new senior season and uniform number, changing from No. 20 to No. 5. She has 10 new teammates to build chemistry with — six freshmen and four transfers.

Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer has hit the court running, aiming for a Conference title and is pleased that Landry could be the leader that can get them there.

“She’s a great leader. She’s like a big sister to everyone on this team,” Palmer said. “To have her around is great because of her leadership. We need that leadership. It gives me something to look forward to everyday.”

Head basketball coach Todd Buchanan is grateful to have Landry back as well. Two years ago, the women’s team had 26 wins, a C-USA regular season title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Landry had improved in Buchanan’s first season, averaging 14.8 points per game as a junior, nearly a five point per game improvement. When Landry came into her own during the New Mexico State game, it seemed as if she would be Buchanan’s go-to scorer. However, she was injured, along with several others, ending with a 3-26 season.

“From my viewpoint, it’s poetry in motion because she is so good at making everyone so much better. I think when you have someone orchestrating your team, which she does exceptionally well, you know she’s going to put everybody in the best case scenario — to be better — to push them to get better,” Buchanan said. “It’s not just game time, it’s everyday in practice. She’s been absolutely chomping at the bit to get back.”

The Cougars take the court at 7 p.m. on Friday against Mississippi State at Hofheinz Pavillion.

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