Private meeting renews Cougars’ focus
After the 76-63 loss to Tulsa on Thursday, redshirt senior guard Porsche Landry told her team to put the past behind them because the postseason is a new beginning.
While the team waited at the gate before their plane departed back home, Landry held a private meeting among her teammates about looking toward the Conference USA Tournament, which begins Wednesday.
“I told them to just let it go. Tulsa is a great ball team, and we let one get away from us, but it’s going to be a new season and a new start. The conference tournament is a whole new season,” Landry said.
Landry told her teammates to stay positive when they felt discouraged after the defeat Thursday.
“We were all a little disappointed because we didn’t play to our potential and execute on the defensive side. I told them to keep their heads up because we’re going to have a fresh start,” she said.
Landry and junior center Mae Woods are the only Cougars that were a part of the 2010-11 team that went 16-0 in league play and captured a C-USA Championship ring. Freshman forward Marche’ Amerson said Landry’s words motivated the team.
“Even though we dropped some games, we should have had this season; every team now is on the same playing field,” Amerson said. “Her words of encouragement, I believe, will make us bring our intensity and go in with the right mindset.”
UH will travel to Tulsa, Okla., and face UCF to open up the C-USA tournament quarterfinals Wednesday.
The two teams last met on Feb. 28, when the Knights pulled away late behind hot-shooting performances from their guards. Preventing it from happening again is one of the two significant aspects the Cougars need to focus on to win, said head coach Todd Buchanan.
“The biggest thing is that we’re going to have to contain (Briahanna) Jackson and (Gevenia) Carter,” he said. “They had 43 of their 68 points last time. We’re going to have to do a really good job of limiting their touches and keep them in front of us on defense.
“The other part is that we’re going to have to keep Erika Jones off the boards. She had 18 rebounds by herself last time,” Buchanan said.
Landry said though they played sloppy in the first meeting, the Cougars expect a different outcome.
“We played lazy on defense, turned the ball over, players getting in foul trouble and we just felt like we didn’t come to play that day,” she said. “I think we have a total different mind frame going into this tournament since it’s a win or go home situation. We really want this championship, and we’re looking forward to go 4-0 in these next couple days.”