HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team improved to 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time since joining the league with a 73-55 win over Wichita State, on Tuesday inside H&PE Arena.
Wichita State grabbed an early lead on a Rangie Bessard second-chance layup on the first possession of the game, but the Cougars would respond with a 10-0 run over the next 4:27 to claim their first lead of the contest. Jasmyne Harris started the run by making 1-of-2 from the free throw line, before knocking down a 3-pointer off a Wichita State turnover on the next possession.
Angela Harris pushed the lead to 6-2 with a layup just over a minute later, before Octavia Barnes capped the run with back-to-back layups on Houston’s next two possessions. The Shockers scored the next four points on buckets from Jeliah Preston and Bessard, but the Cougars would again clamp down on defense and allow just one field goal over the final 4:25.
Jasmyne Harris scored on another 3-pointer to bring the lead to 13-6, and Myyah West found the scoreboard for the first time on Houston’s next possession to make the lead nine. The half ended with a 3-pointer from Dorian Branch and another bucket from Jasmyne Harris, and the Cougars took a 20-8 advantage into the first intermission.
The Cougars shot 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from the field in the first quarter, including 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from beyond the 3-point line. Houston forced Wichita State to commit six turnovers in the frame, leading to 12 points off turnovers.
Houston opened the lead to 15 on a 3-pointer from Dionna Collins to open the scoring in the second quarter, but the Shockers would hold Houston to 13 points the remainder of the frame. Wichita State used an 8-5 spurt over the next 4:12 to pull within 10 for the first time since late in the first. Two possessions later, Wichita State picked up a bucket from Diamond Lockhart to cut the lead back to single digits at 31-22.
The Shockers followed that possession with a stop on the defensive end and a layup from Alyssia Faye to make the score 31-24, before cutting the lead to five after an offensive rebound and a layup from Angiee Tompkins following a Cougar turnover. The two teams traded buckets on the next two possessions, but Angela Harris buried a three with just half a minute remaining in the quarter to give Houston the lead, 36-28, at the break.
Wichita State was able to get inside and exploit the Cougars down low, winning the points in the paint battle 16-0 in the second quarter. However, Houston forced five more Shocker turnovers in the period and scored six more points off turnovers.
The Cougars found a spark in the third quarter, shooting 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from the field and making four 3-pointers in a quarter that saw Houston score 26 points. Twice the Cougars were able to push the lead back to double-digits on the opening two possessions, but Wichita State had an answer for each and the score sat 41-33 with 7:55 remaining in the quarter.
From there, Houston would open the contest back up with a 9-2 run over the next 4:12 to push the lead back to 17. Jasmyne Harris started the run with a jumper, which was followed by a layup from Branch nearly two minutes later. Bessard answered Branch’s bucket with a layup of her own, but the Cougars followed with a two from Octavia Barnes and a 3-pointer from Branch, before Myyah West capped the streak with a layup of her own.
The Shockers refused to go away however, answering with a 6-0 run of their own after forcing turnovers on back-to-back possessions. Bessard ended Houston’s run with a layup before Cesaria Ambrosio and Lockhart followed with layups of their own. However, the Cougars closed the quarter with 10 of the next 14 points, including five from Branch after her 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining made the score 62-45 after 30 minutes.
Neither team could find their offense in the fourth quarter, a period that saw each team shoot less than 30 percent from the field. Houston pushed the lead to 22 twice in the period, once at the 7:49 mark on a jumper from Serithia Hawkins and again with 6:04 to play after a pair of free throws from Jasmyne Harris.
The lead grew to 24 nearly two minutes later, when Harris found her way to the rim and laid it in for her game-high 26th point of the night. The Shockers would respond with six of the final eight points in the contest, but could not cut far into the lead, and the Cougars won 73-55.
Score: Houston 73 (13-3, 2-0), Wichita State 55 (5-11, 0-2)
Date: Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Location: Houston, Texas | H&PE Arena
Wichita State was able to cut into the lead late in the second quarter, decreasing the deficit to 33-28 with just 49 seconds before the half. However, Angela Harris’ 3-pointer 18 seconds later pushed the score back to 36-28 at the intermission and sparked a big third quarter for the Cougars.
Houston: Houston finished the contest with three players in double figures including a game-high 26 points from sophomore Jasmyne Harris. Dorian Branch added 16 points for the Cougars, while Octavia Barnes contributed 10 while pacing Houston on the glass with seven rebounds.
Wichita State: The Shockers had just one player reach double figures in the game. Rangie Bessard scored 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while tallying a double-double, and also leading Wichita State with 10 rebounds.
NEWS AND NOTES
- With the victory, Houston improved to 3-0 all-time against Wichita State.
- The win over Wichita State gives Houston 13 victories during the 2017-18 season, surpassing their win total from the 2016-17 season and standing as the most for Head Coach Ronald Hughey during his tenure.
- Houston’s 13-3 record, marks the best start since the 2004-05 team started 14-3 in a season that saw the Cougars make the NCAA Tournament.
- Houston’s 2-0 record in American Athletic Conference play marks their best start since joining the league.
- Sophomore Angela Harris attempted five 3-pointers in the contest, moving her into 10th on the Houston all-time 3-pointers attempted list, passing her teammate Mariah Mitchell (278; 2014- ) with 283.
- With 26 points in the contest, Jasmyne Harris posted her seventh game this season of 20 points or more, and her second consecutive. The 27 points also gives Harris 655 in just 46 games of her career.
- Houston forced Wichita State to commit 25 turnovers in the game, while collecting 15 steals in the process. The Cougars entered first in the American Athletic Conference and top-10 in the nation in steals, steals-per-game and turnovers forced per game.
- Houston was able to score big points off the 25 turnovers forced in the game. The Cougars won the points-off-turnovers battle 35-14.
- Houston led for 38:23 of the game and has trailed for just 52 combined seconds over each of its first two American Athletic Conference games.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars head back on the road for a one-game swing, when they travel to New Orleans, for a matchup with Tulane. The Cougars head back to New Orleans after competing there in two games of the WNIT earlier this season, and tipoff against the Green Wave is scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Houston will play its 2017-18 home games inside H&PE Arena on the campus of nearby Texas Southern University while renovations continue on the $60 million Fertitta Center.
For the best value to enjoy all 13 regular-season home games, fans can purchase a Shasta Pass for just $80. With the Shasta Pass, fans enjoy admission into every Women’s Basketball home game as well as remaining Volleyball and Soccer contests and Softball games in the spring.
Single game tickets are also available for games throughout the Women’s Basketball season, starting as low as $3 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats if purchases are made online before gameday. Ticket sales on gameday or walkup sales begin at $5 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats.
Fans can purchase tickets by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets or by clicking HERE, or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS.
Fans can receive daily information and in-game updates by following @UHCougarWBB on Twitter. Fans can also catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at facebook.com/UHCougarWBB.