Newcomers thrive in late-game situations
It was the game-winning shot against Rice that showed head coach Todd Buchanan that one of his players had taken a step up in her play, resulting in a familiar award.
Freshman forward Marche Amerson hit the game winning layup against Rice with 1:21 remaining to secure the 53-51 victory and her second Conference USA Freshman Player of the Week award.
After averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting 59 percent from the field, including three 3-pointers, the native from Bryan, Texas increased her confidence in order to earn the third C-USA Player of the Week accolade in the last four weeks.
“She’s really gaining a lot of confidence. I think her making the shot at the end of the Rice game is proof of that,” Buchanan said.
“I’m not sure if earlier in the year she would have had the confidence to drive toward the basket and finish the play like that.”
Amerson said she needed to be more aggressive offensively to help produce wins for her team.
“I’ve had more confidence in my shot,” Amerson said. “I felt I needed to score more to help my team out, because we’ve been struggling on offense in conference play.”
After being outrebounded by 19 in their first meeting with UTEP, the Cougars will need Amerson to carry that confidence onto the court and crash the boards early and often in order to come away with a win.
“We have to get on the glass. Lately we’ve been letting people push us under the basket,” Amerson said.
“We have to get more rebounds and be aggressive.”
The UTEP Miners lead the conference in rebounding by a 7.5 margin against opponents and are anchored by senior center Ante Steinberga, who posted 20 points and 12 rebounds against the Cougars previously.
UH will look to increase their overall record to 12-13 by collecting a third consecutive road win.
UH will tip-off at UTEP at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Don Haskins Center.