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Monday, August 21, 2017

Commentary

Strong freshman core makes future look promising


The Cougars may have gone only 12-19 this season, but compared to last season’s 6-24 record, they have made major improvements. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Expectations were high after acquiring what some have called the Cougars’ best recruiting class in over a decade. However, the women’s ball club came up short this season.

The Cougars’ season ended with a disappointing loss to No. 2 seed Temple in the quarter finals of the American Athletic Conference championship and retained a 12-19 record overall, with 4-12 in the AAC.

Head coach Ronald Hughey anticipated more wins and was prepared to usher in a winning season by grooming a new, fast-paced offense.

The team scored an average of 61.2 points per game. Opponents outscored the Cougars by 6.7 points with an average of 67.9 per game.

The Cougars have ended each season for the past six years below the .500 mark. Their last winning record was held in early 2011, when Houston completed its 2010-2011 season with a 26-6 overall record and went undefeated in its conference.

Since then, there’s been a huge drop-off.

Compared to last year’s season, the Cougars have improved their game by building a foundation of core players. But the team’s downfall was its failure to finish games in the second half.

The silver lining lies in rising stars Angela Harris and Jasmyne Harris, who both were named to the AAC All-Freshman team. Each was named freshman of the week at some point this season.

Last season’s stand-out competitor, Serithia Hawkins, continued in dominating fashion, completing her tenth career double-double against USF.

The Cougars will continue to be the AAC’s underdog in this time of rebuilding, but a winning record isn’t too far in the future with the strong freshman core currently in place.

The Cougars are off to a decent start in rebuilding the program with the work they’ve put in over the past year. However, it will take a few years for success to reach fruition, as these young players need time to mature their game.

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