GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team saw its comeback bid fall just shy, dropping a heartbreaking 80-78 decision, in overtime at ECU, on Saturday.
The Cougars opened the game strong with a 7-0 run right out of the gate. Jasmyne Harris started the contest with a layup, before Serithia Hawkins connected on a 3-pointer two possessions later. After a Houston stop, Angela Harris added a layup before the Pirates found the scoreboard for the first time at the 8:20 mark with a free throw from Salita Greene.
Hawkins extended the lead back to seven two possessions later, when she connected on her second 3-pointer of the game, but ECU climbed back into the contest with a 6-0 run. Alex Frazier started the run with a jumper, before Green connected on the Pirates next possession and Dominique Claytor capped the streak at 5:43 to make the score 10-9 Houston.
The two teams would trade big runs one more time throughout the quarter, with the Cougars striking first on a 9-2 spurt, before the Pirates answered with the final five points of the quarter to make the score 19-16 in favor of Houston after one.
The two squads traded buckets for the majority of the first half of the second quarter, with the lead hovering around three points throughout. After a Green jumper cut the lead to 27-24 with 5:46 remaining, Houston opened a 5-0 spurt thanks to a layup from Angela Harris and a 3-pointer from Branch to push the lead back to eight at 32-24.
The Pirates would answer however, and after Lashonda Monk connected on a 3-pointer at the 4:24 mark, the Pirates picked up another stop on defense and a score from Necole Hope to cut the lead to 32-29 with just under three minutes to play.
After Hawkins split 1-of-2 from the free throw line on the next possession, ECU cut the lead to one at 33-32 on a 3-pointer from Hope with 1:47 to play. The Pirates would tie the score at 39 just over a minute later, but Angela Harris’ free throws with six seconds remaining gave the Cougars a 41-39 lead at the half.
Houston opened the second half with a free throw from Jasmyne Harris to push the lead to 42-39, but the Pirates would take over from there for the remainder of the frame. Greene started ECU’s run by tying the score at 42 and giving ECU the lead after completing the 3-point play at the 8:45 mark.
ECU pushed the lead to five with 5:41 remaining on a jumper from Destiny Campbell, and the Cougars looked like they had responded with 3-straight points from Myyah West, but a 5-0 run for ECU gave the pirates at 56-49 lead late in the period. The teams traded twos the rest of the way and the Pirates carried a 58-53 lead into the fourth quarter.
ECU struck first in the final frame of regulation, after Campbell buried a jumper to push the score to 60-53. Houston cut the score back to three on a layup from Barnes and a pair of free throws from Jasmyne Harris, but an old-fashioned, 3-point play from Monk pushed the deficit right back to six at 63-57.
After a pair of free throws from Jasmyne Harris cut the score to 63-59, Houston went cold for the next four minutes, and a 5-0 run gave ECU a 68-59 lead with 2:43 remaining in the quarter.
However, the Cougars had one final push in regulation, beginning with a pair of free throws from Angela Harris to make the score 68-61 with 2:17 remaining. The Cougars forced a turnover on the next possession, leading to a Branch 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four.
Over the next 1:06, ECU would shoot 1-of-6 from the free throw line, giving Houston a chance, when Branch landed another triple with 21 seconds remaining to cut the score to 69-67. On the ensuing trip to the line, ECU again would miss both free throws, leading to a Cougar break the other way and a pair of free throws from Hawkins to tie the score at 69. Each team would have a look over the final nine seconds, but neither would fall and the game would head to overtime.
The teams traded one free throw to open the overtime period, before Houston grabbed a 72-70 lead on a layup from Hawkins. The Pirates would answer with a 3-pointer from Monk on the next possession to give ECU the lead with 3:50 remaining.
The squads would again trade free throws before a layup from Hope game ECU a 78-75 lead with 2:08 to play. Houston would respond with a pair of free throws the other way, and after a turnover on the other end, tied the game with another score from Octavia Barnes at the charity stripe.
With 41 seconds to play in overtime, Hawkins stole the ball from Mickayla Sanders, but Jasmyne Harris was called for an offensive foul with 18 seconds remaining, fouling her out of the game. ECU would score on a layup from Hope seven seconds later, and Branch’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was just off to give ECU an 80-78 decision.
Score: ECU 80, Houston 78 (OT)
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Location: Greenville, N.C. | Minges Coliseum
ECU held the Cougars to just 12 points in the third quarter, allowing them to shoot 20 percent (3-of-15) from the field to swing momentum in its favor.
Houston: The Cougars finished with four players in double figures including a game-high 22 from Serithia Hawkins. Hawkins also paced the Cougars on the glass with eight rebounds. Jasmyne Harris finished the contest with 21 points, her 11th 20-point game of the season, while Dorian Branch added 13 points and Angela Harris had 11.
ECU: The Pirates had three players reach double-digit scoring, led by Necole Hope who finished with 18. Salita Greene finished the contest with 15 points and led the Pirates with nine rebounds, while Destiny Campbell had 10.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Houston forced the Pirates to commit 26 turnovers in the game and came away with 11 steals. The Cougars entered the contest leading the American Athletic Conference in each of those categories.
- Junior Serithia Hawkins collected a pair of offensive rebounds in the contest, giving her 241 in her career. Hawkins broke a tie with Stephanie Edwards (1989-93) and moved into seventh all-time on the Houston program list.
- Hawkins’ 22 points in the game gives her exactly 750 in her career.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
Houston has a week off before returning to H&PE Arena to host SMU at 2 p.m., on Jan. 27. Tipoff against Houston’s in-state rival is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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.
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