UH Uses Stifling Defense to Take Down Cincinnati
Feb. 8, 2014
CINCINNATI--- The Cougars boasted a season-high tying four double digit scorers and put together one of the best defensive performances in program history, as Houston came into Cincinnati and beat the Bearcats, 48-39, for their first conference win of the season, Saturday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena.
Houston (5-18, 1-11 The American) held Cincinnati to just 39 points on 27.7 percent shooting from the floor for the game, as the 39 points were the least amount of points the Cougars have surrendered in a game since allowing just 32 points to Oregon State back on Nov. 19, 2009, while the 27.7 percent shooting from the field was the lowest Houston has held an opponent to all season.
Sophomore forward Marche' Amerson led the scoring attack for the Cougars for the fourth time in the last six contests, as she went for 11 points, while knocking down 5-of-6 shots at the free throw line.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson notched her fourth double-double of the season, and her second in the last five games, as she poured in 10 points and grabbed a game-high and season-best equaling 13 rebounds in the winning effort for the Cougars.
Senior forward Te'onna Campbell nearly had herself a double-double as well, as she went for 10 points and eight rebounds, collecting her 10th double figure scoring game of the season.
Sophomore guard Alecia Smith produced her fifth double digit scoring game of the season, as she chipped in 10 points, while connecting on a game-high tying two treys in just her seventh start of the year.
For Cincinnati (9-14, 2-10 The American), Alyesha Lovett led the way with 11 points and five rebounds, but on just 2-of-12 shooting from the field, as she was the only Bearcat to score in double figures.
The Cougars came into this one with a sense of urgency, and it showed, as Houston put up eight unanswered points to begin the contest to take an 8-0 lead with 15:30 left to play in the first half.
But that was just the beginning, as Houston would eventually extend its advantage to as high as 19-4 with 8:19 remaining in the half, after Jessieka Palmer connected on a contested jumper from the left wing, capping off a mini 6-0 run for the Cougars.
Houston went into the intermission with a commanding 26-12 lead, as it held Cincinnati to just 4-of-24 shooting from the field for a microscopic 16.7 percent shooting percentage. The 12 points and 16.7 shooting percentage were both season-bests defensively for Houston.
The Cougars struck first in the second half as well, as Thompson put in a layup within the first 30 seconds of the period to give UH its largest lead of the contest at 28-12. In fact the lead was Houston's largest in a game since defeating Prairie View A&M 74-46 back on Dec. 1.
The Bearcats went on a small 9-1 run to trim the Cougar lead down 33-26 with 7:54 left in the contest, but would never get any closer than that, as Houston led wire-to-wire for just the second time this season, and for the first time on the road.
Houston scored 14 points off of 22 turnovers on the day, while it committed just 13. The Cougars have now scored more points off of turnovers than the opposition in four of the last fives contests, while it has also won the overall turnover battle in four of the last five games.
The Cougars now return to Hofheinz Pavilion looking for their first home conference win, when they take on Rutgers, Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. CT in Houston's annual "pink game".
Game Notes: With the win Houston improves to 5-10 all-time vs. Cincinnati and have won four of the last five contests vs. the Bearcats...win snaps what was a six-game road losing streak and an 11-game losing skid overall...when Houston took a 2-0 lead with 19:34 left in the first half, it ended what was a span of 156 minutes and 37 seconds without owning a lead. It was the first lead since Houston led SMU 8-6 with 16:03 left in the first half back on Jan. 25...the Cougars had four or players score in double figures for the first time since Dec. 20 at Rice.