Cougar basketball teams primed for Wednesday’s match-ups
Coming off big wins last week, the men’s and women’s basketball teams return to action tomorrow looking to make all they can of the final month of the regular season.
After dismantling Central Florida behind a career-high in points from senior guard Damyean Dotson, the men travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane. The women look to start their own win streak as they head to Orlando to battle UCF.
Looking for their fourth straight win, the Cougars (16-7, 7-4) face a Tulane team that has lost seven in a row and ranks last in the American Athletic Conference in defense and scoring margin. The Green Wave (4-19, 1-10) are giving up 78.4 points per game while being outscored by an average of 9.3.
Houston features two of the top five scorers in the AAC with redshirt junior guard Rob Gray Jr. and Dotson.
Gray leads the league with 20.3 points per game and is the only Cougar to score at least 12 in every game he’s been in.
After Dotson’s 31-point affair last Wednesday, he moved into fifth in the league with 16.2 points per game.
With a win tomorrow, the Cougars would keep pace with Memphis for third place in the AAC and in prime position for a high seed in the AAC tournament.
They should look to build an early lead against an inferior team, letting the bench play high minutes while giving Gray and Dotson rest.
After handing East Carolina their seventh straight loss on Saturday, the Cougars (9-14, 2-8) look to win back-to-back games for the first time since New Year’s Day.
They face a tough task in UCF, which is giving up only 55.8 points per game, good for second in the AAC behind No. 1 Connecticut.
The Knights are one of the best rebounding teams in the conference, out-rebounding opponents by 9.8 per game. The boards are already one of the places where the Cougars struggle, and tomorrow night’s game could highlight that.
The Cougars offense is led by freshman guard Jasmyne Harris. The Freeport native is ranked No. 25 in the conference with 11.3 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field.
In their last outing against ECU, senior center Jacqueline Blake totaled a career-high 16 points while going 7-7 from the free throw line.
If the Cougars are able to prevent second-chance points and get into a shooting groove early, they have a real chance of handing the Knights their fourth straight loss.