Cougars prepare for season finale
After the Cougars’ last home outing against Rice on Sunday, the Cougars look ahead as they travel to Tulsa to close out the regular season Thursday before beginning the conference tournament next week.
The Golden Hurricane came into Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 14 and defeated the Cougars. UH had a five-point lead late in the second half, but Tulsa went on a 11-0 run to take the lead and steal a 59-55 victory.
Head coach Todd Buchanan said his team will have to play well if they want to avenge the painful previous loss.
“We’re going to have to show up. Tulsa is a nice basketball team, but we have a chance to finish up winning three of our last four if we go there and take care of business,” he said. “We let them go on an 11-0 run late and lose by four. That hurts.”
Tulsa will host their senior night Thursday, featuring its senior guard Taleya Mayberry, who is fourth in conference scoring at 17.8 points per game.
“It’s going to be their senior day, and they’ll be jacked up. Mayberry is a great player, and it will be her last go just like it was Porsche (Landry)’s today. Very similar situations, and now we’re going to be on the other side of it,” Buchanan said.
Freshman guard Alecia Smith said the key to victory is communication on defense similar to what they accomplished Sunday.
“Basically, it’s going to boil down to defense,” she said. “We can score, but we’re going to have to talk to each other on the defensive end like we did against Rice.”
The Cougars are 7-8 in Conference USA. Even with a victory Thursday, they won’t be able to finish better than fifth place — eliminating their chances of a first-round bye in the C-USA tournament March 13 to 16 in Tulsa, Okla.
With two guaranteed games left on the schedule, senior guard Porsche Landry needs 10 assists to pass Betty Darthard for the all-time assist record at UH.