HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team used a late, fourth-quarter comeback to defeat SMU 60-56, on Saturday inside H&PE Arena. With the victory, the Cougars swept the season series over the Mustangs.
Houston started strong, using a 6-2 run to open the game on a pair of 3-pointers from Dorian Branch and Jasmyne Harris. However, SMU would answer the Cougars run with a 6-0 spurt of their own, beginning with a jumper from McKenzie Adams which was followed by back-to-back buckets from Stephanie Collins to give SMU the lead at 8-6.
The Cougars would regain the lead on another triple, this time from Angela Harris, to bring the score to 9-8 Houston, but SMU would hold the Cougars to just one more field goal over the final 4:42. The Mustangs regained the lead on a layup from Adams on the next possession, before Jasmyne Harris buried another 3-pointer to make the score 12-10.
SMU would close the first quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 17-12 lead into the first break, while holding the Cougars to just 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from the field in the frame.
Both offenses struggled early in the second quarter, with the first basket coming at the 7:59 mark, when Adams extended the lead to 19-12 in favor of SMU. Houston would respond with five of the next seven points, thanks to a free throw from Serithia Hawkins, a layup from Jasmyne Harris and another 3-pointer from Angela Harris to cut the lead to 21-18.
Johnasia Cash pushed the lead with a layup on the next possession, but the Cougars reeled off five straight points to even the score at 23 all. Jasmyne Harris started the spurt with a layup and completed the old-fashioned, 3-point play with the ensuing free throw. Julia Blackshell-Fair knotted the game 20 seconds later with two more free throws.
The Cougars took the lead on a jumper from Blackshell-Fair with 1:21 remaining, and then closed the half with a pair of buckets from Branch to take a 31-27 lead into the intermission.
The third quarter again started sluggish for both teams, before Adams buried a 3-pointer to cut Houston’s lead to 31-30 with 6:57 left in the quarter. The squads would trade buckets over the next two minutes to push the score to 35-32, but the Mustangs would rattle off 10-straight points to take a 42-35 advantage with 2:51 left.
Adams started the run with a jumper, before Cash gave the Mustangs a 36-35 lead with 4:02 to play. Kiara Perry followed with a pair of free throws and a layup before Cash capped the run with a steal and a layup the other way. Houston would close the frame with four of the last six points, but SMU carried a 44-39 lead into the final quarter.
Adams again opened the fourth quarter with a bucket to push the SMU lead to seven, and the teams would trade buckets until the 7:16 mark, when Angela Harris buried another triple to cut the score to 48-44. However, the Mustangs would answer with back-to-back scores to take their largest lead of the game at 52-44.
The Houston defense would clamp down over the rest of the fourth quarter however, holding SMU to just four points over the final 5:09 while mounting their comeback. Angela Harris cut the lead to six at 52-46 with 5:00 to play. With 3:27 left in regulation, Hawkins cut the lead to four with a layup, before Octavia Barnes inched the Cougars closer with a free throw just 30 seconds later.
Blackshell-Fair slashed the lead to one on Houston’s next possession before Perry pushed it back to two with a free throw with 1:57 to play. Just six seconds later, the Cougars tied the score at 53 on a layup from Hawkins, before Jasmyne Harris buried a 3-pointer to give Houston the lead at 56-53. The Cougars would go 4-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch, picking up stops on each defensive possession to take the victory 60-56.
Score: Houston 60, SMU 56
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Location: Houston, Texas | H&PE Arena
Houston held the Mustangs to just four points over the final 5:09, including just one free throw over a stretch of 4:50. In that period, the Cougars outscored SMU 16-4.
Houston: The Cougars finished with a trio of players in double-figures including Jasmyne Harris, who paced the squad with 15 points, giving her 13 consecutive double-digit scoring games. Angela Harris finished the contest with 13 points, while Serithia Hawkins tallied her 16th career double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
SMU: The Mustangs had a pair of players reach double figures in the game, including a game-high 19 points from McKenzie Adams. Kiara Perry added 12 points, and Klara Bradshaw led SMU on the boards with seven rebounds.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Houston swept the season series against SMU for the first time since 2010-11 and pushed the overall series record to 34-25.
- With the victory, the Cougars picked up their fifth win in American Athletic Conference play, the most the program has achieved since joining the league.
- The fourth-quarter comeback was the seventh comeback of eight or more points in the second half for the Cougars this season.
- With seven defensive rebounds in the contest, junior Serithia Hawkins now has 398 in her career, moving her past Sancho Lyttle (391; 2003-05) and into a tie for eighth with Kellye Jones (1988-92) for seventh on the all-time Houston defensive boards list.
- With 10 total rebounds in the game, Hawkins moves to 11th all-time with 642, passing Nicole Oliver (637; 2000-04).
- Sophomore Dorian Branch tallied three assists in the contest, giving her 101 in her career.
- The Cougars outrebounded SMU 15-7 on the offensive glass, giving the Cougars a 12-7 advantage on second-chance points.
- With eight 3-pointers made in the game, Houston has now knocked down 169 threes this season. That number ranks fourth all-time and is just nine off the team record pace of 178.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars wrap up their 2-game homestand with a return matchup against Tulane, on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., inside H&PE Arena. Houston came from 21-points down to stun Tulane in overtime in the previous meeting this season.
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.