NEW ORLEANS – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team came back from trailing by 21 points in the third quarter to stun Tulane and win 98-92 in overtime on Saturday, at Avron B. Fogelman Arena inside Devlin Fieldhouse.
Houston opened the game strong, scoring six of the first eight points of the contest thanks to a free throw from Jasmyne Harris, a bucket from Octavia Barnes and a 3-pointer from Dorian Branch. However, Tulane would spark a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to take a big lead midway through the first quarter.
The run began on a layup from Meredith Schulte, before a layup by Kayla Manuirirangi and a 3-point play from Kolby Morgan gave the Green Wave a 9-6 lead. Tulane continued the spurt with a bucket from Kaila Anderson and followed with a layup from Morgan and a jumper from Harlyn Wyatt to give the Green Wave a 15-6 lead with 4:04 to play in the quarter.
The Cougars were able to stop the run with a bucket from Harris, but the Green Wave would take a 25-13 lead into the first intermission. Tulane shot 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from the field in the first quarter, while the Cougars made just 5-14 (35.7 percent).
Houston used a bit of a spurt to climb back into the game early in the second quarter. Mariah Mitchell opened the period with a 10-foot jumper to cut the lead back to 10, while Harris followed with a 3-pointer to make the deficit 25-18 after the first two possessions.
However with 6:17 remaining until halftime, Tulane sparked another big run, a 9-0 streak, to push the advantage to 38-22. Maddison Wells started the spurt with a layup, which the Green Wave followed with another layup from Meredith Schulte. After Sierra Cheatham knocked down a pair of free throws, Tulane followed with a 3-point play from Morgan before Harris ended the run with 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
The pace slowed for the remainder of the half, and after Barnes connected on a field goal with 27 seconds remaining, the Cougars went to the locker room down 44-27. Tulane shot 47.2 percent in the first half and held the Cougars to 37.0 percent from the field.
Tulane kept the momentum going to open the third period, striking first off a turnover from the Cougars on a bucket by Morgan and following that with a layup from Wyatt off the Houston miss to extend the lead to the largest of the game for Tulane at 48-27 with 8:29 to play. However, the Cougars would begin to swing the pendulum in their favor on the next possession. Serithia Hawkins made 1-of-2 from the free throw line, but Octavia Barnes grabbed the offensive board and kicked it out to Harris who connected on a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 17 at 48-31 with 8:13 remaining.
Tulane would push the margin back to 20 two possessions later when Anderson worked her way into the lane for a layup to bring the score to 54-34, but the Cougars would open an 8-0 run over the next 1:18 to crawl back into the game. Hawkins opened the spurt with a layup off a Green Wave turnover, and Harris followed that with another three to make the score 54-39. After the Cougars picked up a stop on the other end, Harris would again strike from deep to cut the lead to 12 midway through the third quarter.
The Green Wave would answer the call again however, pushing the lead back to 15 two possession’s later, when Morgan completed yet another 3-point play, making the lead 59-44 with 4:31 to play in the period. But Houston’s defense would again clamp down, and the Cougars scored nine of the next 13 points to climb within 10 at 63-53 with 1:45 to play in the third.
That run started with the teams trading buckets until Harris drove to the rim for a layup with 2:54 remaining. After Morgan missed a pair of free throws on the other end, Branch would find the bottom of the net from beyond the arc to cut the deficit to 10. Tulane would knock down a pair from the line on the next possession, but Houston responded with free throws from Branch, before Mariah Mitchell scored with :09 left on the clock to cut the lead to single digits at, 65-57, for the first time since early in the second.
The Cougars continued to steamroll into the fourth quarter, scoring nine of the first 10 points of the frame to pull even at 66. After Cheatham connected on one-of-two from the free throw line, The Cougars began a 12-0 run when Hawkins scored on a layup assisted by Harris. The Cougars forced stops on the next three possessions and picked up baskets from Harris and Barnes, before Harris connected on a 3-pointer with 7:06 remaining to tie the game.
The Cougars forced a turnover on the next possession, and Harris would again strike from deep, this time giving Houston a 69-66 lead with 6:32 remaining in regulation. The mark stood as Houston’s first lead since a 6-4 advantage with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter.
After Morgan cut the lead to one with a layup on the next possession, sophomore guard Angela Harris connected on a pair of free throws to keep the advantage at three. The teams would trade a pair of 2-point baskets over the next minutes, before Manuirirangi buried a triple to tie the score with 4:19 left in regulation.
Tulane would regain the lead at 77-75 with 2:53 left in regulation on a pair of free throws from Morgan, but Houston answered with a layup from Hawkins two possessions later to tie the score for the fifth time in the game. The two teams traded buckets before Morgan gave the Green Wave the lead at 81-79 with 50 seconds to play. After the two squads traded 1-of-2 trips to the free throw line on the ensuing possessions, the Cougars trailed 82-80 with 27 seconds to play.
Just eight seconds later, Serithia Hawkins worked her way down low before she was fouled by Morgan. Hawkins would tie the score after making both free throws, and Morgan’s layup as time expired was no good to send the game to overtime.
Tulane struck first in the 5-minute period, when Schulte connected on a jumper with 4:35 to play. Houston answered with a jumper from Jasmyne Harris on the next possession, and after forcing a turnover, took the lead on a pair of free throws from Hawkins. On the next three possessions, Houston would take a 2-point lead, only to have Tulane answer and after a Cheatham layup with 1:31 remaining the score sat tied at 90 apiece.
After a missed 3-pointer from Angela Harris, Tulane reclaimed the lead at 92-90 after Morgan connected on a pair of free throws with just 52 seconds remaining in the overtime period. The Cougars had one more answer in them however, and after collecting three offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession, Hawkins laid it up-and-in and converted the 3-point play with the following free throw to give Houston a 93-92 lead with 31 seconds left.
On the next possession, Morgan drove to the lane for a layup, but Mitchell slid over to take the charge and effectively seal the game for Houston with just 25 second left. The Cougars connected on five free throws the remainder of the way and claimed a 98-92 victory in overtime.
Score: Houston 98 (14-3, 3-0), Tulane 92 (9-7, 1-2)
Date: Saturday, January 6, 2018
Location: New Orleans, La. | Avron B. Fogelman Arena inside Devlin Fieldhouse
Houston scored 71 points in the second half and overtime period, after scoring just 27 in the first 20 minutes. The Cougars reclaimed the lead for good with 35 seconds to play, but a huge defensive play by Mariah Mitchell, taking a charge on the next possession, sealed the game for Houston.
Houston: Houston finished the contest with four players in double-figures including a career-high 34 points from Jasmyne Harris to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds for her sixth career double-double and fourth this season. Harris also finished with a team-high eight assists. Serithia Hawkins also tallied a double-double, the 14th of her career, setting a career-best with 25 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, while Octavia Barnes and Dorian Branch finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Tulane: The Green Wave also had four players reach double figures, including a team-high 30 from Kolby Morgan. Kayla Manuirirangi added 16 points, and Sierra Cheatham had 14, while Meredith Schulte finished the contest with 10. Morgan also paced Tulane on the glass and in assists with nine each.
NEWS AND NOTES
- With the victory, Houston improved to 14-28 all-time against Tulane and 7-13 while playing inside Devlin Fieldhouse. The victory over the Green Wave is the first in Head Coach Ronald Hughey’s tenure.
- The win over Tulane gives Houston 14 victories during the 2017-18 season, the most for Head Coach Ronald Hughey at Houston.
- Houston’s 14-3 record, marks the best start since the 2004-05 team started with the same record, in a season that saw the Cougars make the NCAA Tournament.
- Houston’s 3-0 record in American Athletic Conference play continues their best start since joining the league.
- The victory for Houston pushes its winning streak to six-consecutive games, a number they have reached twice this season. The Cougars multiple 6-game winning streaks marks the first time a Houston team has achieved multiple streaks of at least six games since the 2003-04 season.
- Houston improved to 3-0 while playing in the city of New Orleans in 2017-18 with the win. The Cougars won a pair of contests against New Orleans and Milwaukee in the Preseason WNIT earlier this season.
- The come-from-behind win for the Cougars is their sixth this season when trailing by at least eight points, and the fifth when trailing by double-digits.
- With a career-high 34 points in the contest, Jasmyne Harris became the first Cougar to have multiple 30-point games in a season since Porsche Landry scored 30 twice during the 2012-13 campaign. Harris is averaging 29.0 points per game over the first three American Athletic Conference matchups and has scored in double-figures in eight straight games and 13 of her last 14.
- With six 3-pointers made in the contest, Jasmyne Harris now has 84 in her career, moving her to 11th on the all-time Houston 3-pointers made list, passing her teammate Mariah Mitchell (80; 2014- ), Porsche Landry (82; 2008-13) and Jessica Shanklin (82; 1999-01).
- With a career-high 25 points in the contest, Serithia Hawkins now has 700 points in her career through 77 games.
- With four offensive rebounds in the game, Hawkins moved past Lesslee Mason (231; 2008-11) for 11th all-time on the Houston offensive rebound list with 232 in her career. Hawkins also pulled down six defensive rebounds, giving her 367 in her tenure and moving her past Pat Luckey (363; 1988-92) for No. 10 on the defensive board list at Houston.
- Houston forced Tulane to commit 23 turnovers in the game, while collecting eight 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 25 points off its 23 forced turnovers in the game.
- Saturday’s game saw eight lead changes and 12 ties.
- The Cougars scored 98 points for the second time this season, matching the most that they have scored since a 104-65 win over North Texas on Dec. 5, 2009.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
Houston returns home for a pair of American Athletic Conference games, beginning with a 7 p.m., tilt against Cincinnati on Wednesday, Jan. 10 inside H&PE Arena. The Cougars will follow that by welcoming No. 1/1 UConn to town on Saturday, Jan. 13 for a 2 p.m. start.
The contest against the Bearcats will air live on the internet via ESPN3, while Saturday’s matchup against the Huskies can be seen on the SNY Network and also on ESPN3.