East Carolina Outlasts Women's Basketball in Overtime, 94-87
Jan. 15, 2010
HOUSTON - In a sloppy game that featured 54 combined fouls, a resilient University of Houston women's basketball team dropped its first Conference USA game of the season, falling to East Carolina 94-87 in overtime Friday at Hofheinz Pavilion.
"We didn't play as aggressively on defense as we have become known for," head coach Joe Curl said. "It seemed like we couldn't get that stop when we needed it. I will say this though, we showed a lot of guts to come back and tie the game up. It's a tribute to the type of kids we have and their no-quit attitude. I'm proud of the effort, disappointed in the defense. We're going to try and put this game behind us soon as we get in the locker room. We need to clean up those mistakes before 2 p.m. Sunday. I'm just always proud of these kids and how much fight they have in them."
With the win, ECU remains atop the C-USA standings with a 4-0 league mark to go along with their 15-2 overall record on the season while Houston falls to 8-8 and 2-1 in league action.
Junior forward Courtney Taylor was a bright spot for Houston as she highlighted a list of five Cougars in double-figure scoring. The Crockett, Texas, native scored 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added a game-high 15 rebounds to notch the 31st double-double of her career.
Fellow junior Lesslee Mason also collected a double-double, the fourth for her this season, producing 11 points and 13 rebounds. Joining Mason and Taylor in double-figure scoring was junior Brittney Scott, who did much of her damage from the free throw line where she was 13-of-14, with 17 points, Roxana Button, who chipped in 14 points, and Jasmine Johnson, who scored 12 points off the Cougar bench.
Friday's contest was one in which neither team could get into a consistent flow in between trips to the free throw line, but it was the Lady Pirates who made the most of their opportunities from the field - shooting 56.5 percent for the game (35-of-62). Additionally, ECU was lethal from long distance, converting 8-of-12 3-point attempts compared to the Cougars who made just 3-of-17 from long distance and shot 37.5 percent overall for the game.
The Pirates, who never trailed in the contest, jumped out to a running start in the contest as they made eight of their first 13 shots on the afternoon allowing them to build an early lead which swelled to as nine at 23-14 after a 3-pointer from ECU's Kelly Smith with 11:28 to go.
Five straight points from Allison Spivey pushed the lead to 28-16 with 10:13 on the clock.
For the reminder of the opening period, it was ECU that controlled the tempo of the game with its fiery shooting, allowing them to take a 51-40 lead into the intermission. During the half, the Lady Pirates made 19-of-31 shots from the field for a blistering 61.3 shooting percentage, including a 5-of-7 clip from behind the 3-point arc.
Houston, by contrast, was not blessed with the shooting touch in the first half as they made only 10-of-28 first half shots (35.7 percent) and just one of nine attempts from long distance. Houston's lone positive as a team in the opening 20 minutes was its efforts at the charity stripe where the Cougars made 19-of-23 first half attempts.
The Lady Pirates built their lead up to 12 at 79-67 with 5:26 to play, but the Cougars hit the comeback trail. With the score 81-70, Houston put together an 11-0 run to close the half, tie the game for the first time at 81-81 and force the extra session.
Unfortunately for the Cougars and their home fans, ECU owned the extra five-minute session, allowing the Cougars only one basket and holding a 13-6 advantage in scoring during the final period to give the game its final score.
The Cougars return to action Sunday when the host Marshall in a 2 p.m. contest at Hofheinz Pavilion.