Fresh faces spur team’s improvement
It was a teammate’s text that let freshman forward Marche’ Amerson know her recent double-digit scoring performances and court work had paid off.
The sharp-shooting forward received her first career Conference USA Freshman of the Week award Monday after averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds in her last two performances.
“I was shocked — it was a good accomplishment, and I felt very excited,” Amerson said.
Amerson has strung together several solid performances, including a career high of 15 points and 11 rebounds during Houston’s 81-70 win over Southern Miss. The Bryan native also leads the freshmen in points with seven games scoring in double figures.
After losing Sunday to UTEP, UH (9-9) will need Amerson to continue sinking baskets Thursday to win against conference-leading SMU.
For the second consecutive game, the Cougars will face one of the top two teams in Conference USA.
“We’re going to have to bring the intensity and set the tone on defense and rebounding. Our transition game is going to be a big key for us to get easy points,” Amerson said.
The Cougars will also have to pay extra attention to junior guard Keena Mays, who is averaging 20.3 points per game and shooting more than 44 percent from downtown for the Mustangs.
Junior forward Te’onna Campbell, coming off a career-high 16 rebounds against UTEP, says she knows what it’s going to take to tame the Mustangs and surpass the .500 mark for the second time this season.
“We’re going to have to play how we’re used to. We got to execute the offense better and decrease the turnovers,” Campbell said.
Because of her versatility, Campbell is able to make unpredictable plays. She nailed a clutch 3-pointer against Marshall and a big offensive put-back against Memphis. Head coach Todd Buchanan calls Campbell a difference-maker for their team and hopes she will help lead the team to victory.
“Across the board in all phases, defensively and the intangible things you can’t coach, most kids can’t play the way she does,” Buchanan said.
UH will tip off at 7 p.m. Thursday at SMU.