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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Men's Basketball

Weekend preview: Important games for basketball


Women’s basketball will play in Hofheinz Pavilion for the last time on Saturday and the men’s team will play their last game their next week. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

The Cougar men’s and women’s basketball teams may be in different states this weekend, but they are both playing in important contests.

Women’s basketball

It’ll be senior night on Saturday for the women’s team and the last time they’ll play in Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars (10-17 overall, 3-11 in conference) are going against the ECU Pirates (11-17, 2-13) at 2 p.m.

Before the game, Houston will honor two seniors on the squad, guard Kierra Graves and center Jaqueline Blake. Other members of the team will present gifts to the graduating seniors in the pregame ceremony.

Many of the women’s basketball alumni will be attending in honor of the final game at Hofheinz.

The last time these teams met, the Cougars won 73-62 behind 19 points from freshman guard Angela Harris. There were four players who scored double-digits on ECU as well.

Both teams are in the bottom two spots in the American Athletic Conference. ECU is in last with two conference wins and Houston is in tenth with two wins. With a win against the Pirates, the Cougars will sweep the regular season series between ECU and Houston and secure tenth place.

Men’s basketball

The Cougar men’s team (19-8 overall, 10-5 in conference) is traveling to face off against Memphis (18-10, 8-7) on Sunday at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

The last time these teams met, the game went into overtime where the Cougars lost 70-67. Memphis guard K. J. Lawson put up 28 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Three Memphis players had 10 or more rebounds.

Redshirt junior Rob Gray led with 21 points, and Danrad “Chicken” Knowles was the only redshirt senior who had 10 or more rebounds with 10. Junior guard Wes VanBeck and redshirt senior guard Damyean Dotson had 7 and 6 respectively.

The Cougars are the third highest scoring offense in the American. But much of that firepower comes from beyond the arc where Memphis ranks first in the American in defending 3-pointers. In their last matchup, Memphis held the Cougars to only five 3-pointers.

If Memphis shuts down the Cougars’ proficiency from 3-point territory again, the game can go either way. On the flip side if the Cougars make it rain on Sunday, they should be able to walk out with the victory.

Memphis has lost its past three games to Temple, UConn, and No. 15 Cincinnati and is in danger of dropping further in the rankings. Houston, however, is one win ahead of fourth and fifth place.

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