Coogs capture honors

Saturday will be rivalry day for Cougar basketball as the men’s and women’s teams will host crosstown rival Rice in a double-header at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with the women’s tipoff, and the men’s game will start at 8 p.m.

The men are coming off a dominating 97-69 victory over Central Florida on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. Junior guard Aubrey Coleman led the Cougars with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The women will look for a sweep over Rice after defeating the Owls 66-56 Wednesday.

Sophomore center Cobilyn Hill led the way for UH with 18 points, and her surge has given the Cougars extra pep in their step.

‘I’ve been more focused (and) tuned in and doing what I have to do,’ Hill said.

Admission to both games is free to those who have a CougarOne card or approved groups of 10 or more people.

Play Ball

The UH softball team opens its season against USA Softball No. 14 California at noon at the Cathedral City Kickoff in Cathedral City, Calif.

The Cougars will also face UC-Riverside at 2:30 p.m. Friday UH will hook up against James Madison at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and No. 12 Fresno State at 8 p.m. The team closes out the weekend at 11 a.m. Sunday against Oregon State.

After a 2008 campaign in which the Cougars set a school record 54 wins, UH will be hard pressed to deliver another wonderful performance this season.

However, the Cougars are returning seven starters, including senior infielder Jessica Valis and senior outfielder Laurie Wagner.

UH’s dynamic duo were selected to the Amateur Softball Association of America’s Top 50 Watch List for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

Valis set a UH single-season record in batting average (.431), hits (88), runs scored (51), stolen bases (25) and triples (7) in 2008.

Last season, Wagner hit 19 home runs to set a single-season Conference USA record. She also set UH single-season records in runs batted in (57), on base percentage (.498) and slugging percentage (.826).

Conference honors

Sophomore sprinter Christie Jones earned this week’s C-USA Female Track and Field Athlete of the Week Award for her performance on Jan. 30-31 at the Houston Indoor Invitational.

Jones won the 60-meter dash, setting a NCAA provisional time of 7.4 seconds. She topped her previous personal-best by 0.11 seconds and holds the fastest time in C-USA this season.

The Cougars will continue their season at the New Balance Invitational in New York City today and Saturday.

In swimming, Anastasia Pozdniakova was awarded her 11th career C-USA Diver of the Week honor. The accomplishment is the junior’s seventh award this season, tying a C-USA record.

Pozdniakova was the only diver to earn more than 300 points in both the 1-meter (337.7) and 3-meter (364.8) diving events at the LSU Invitational last weekend. Both scores broke pool records, and marked the eighth consecutive event in which Pozdniakova won both diving events.

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