HOUSTON – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team fell just shy of a comeback bid, falling 64-59 in the regular season home finale, on Saturday, inside H&PE Arena.
Defenses controlled the early going of the game, as the Cougars were held without a field goal for the first 6:06 of the contest, but only trailed 4-3. Junior Myyah West counted Houston’s first bucket at the 3:54 mark of the period to give her the first five points of the game and put Houston ahead 5-4.
The squads would trade buckets over the next two minutes, but with the score tied at nine, UCF would spark a 7-3 run to take a 16-12 advantage into the first intermission. Zakiya Saunders gave the Knights the lead with a jumper before a West free throw cut the score to 11-10. UCF added a free throw on the next possession before back-to-back layups from Masseny Kaba and Lawriell Wilson. Julia Blackshell-Fair banked in a layup with time expiring to stop the run, but the Knights took a four point lead into the break.
Houston shot just 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from the field in the first quarter, while the Knights made 50.0 percent of their shots (7-of-14).
Angela Harris found the first points of the second half on a layup to cut the deficit to 16-14 with 8:12 remaining in the half, but UCF would respond with six straight to build a 22-14 advantage. Saunders followed Harris’ basket with a jumper of her own, before Kornelia Wright connected after a UCF stop. Wright scored again with 5:54 left to give the Knights the eight point advantage.
The teams would trade buckets over the next few minutes of play, but the Knights would close the half on a 10-2 run to take a double-digit lead into the break. Kaba scored for UCF to make the score 26-17 with 4:00 to play before Jasmyne Harris answered with a layup on the other end. However, over the next 3:30, the Knights would hold Houston scoreless and score six more to take a 32-19 lead into the intermission.
The Cougars turned the momentum in the third quarter, a frame that saw Houston outscore UCF 24-17 to pull back into the ballgame. UCF picked up the first four points of the quarter, before Dorian Branch connected on a 3-pointer to bring the score back to 36-22 with 8:13 remaining in the quarter. However, UCF would extend the lead to their largest of the game at 17 with 6:57 remaining on a Saunders jumper.
With 6:02 remaining, Angela Harris buried a 3-pointer to pull within 13 at 43-30 and a few possessions later, the Cougars cut the deficit back to single-digits on back-to-back 3-pointers from Mariah Mitchell and Jasmyne Harris. UCF connected on a couple of free throws on the next possession, but Houston closed the quarter with five straight points from Jasmyne and Angela Harris to trail 49-43 after three quarters.
The teams traded the first six baskets of the fourth quarter, but the Cougars used a 6-0 spurt to tie the game at 55 with 5:04 remaining. Jasmyne Harris started the run with a 3-pointer, before Angela Harris converted on an old-fashioned, 3-point play to knot the game just 30 seconds later. The Cougars would regain the lead for the first time since the early minutes of the first quarter on the next possession, when Angela Harris converted 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
UCF regained the lead on back-to-back buckets from Kayla Thigpen and Saunders before Serithia Hawkins landed a jumper with 2:39 remaining to cut the deficit back to one at 59-58. A minute later, with the shot clock winding down, Wright heaved up a prayer for three, which was held up by video review, and the Knights claimed a 62-58 advantage that they would not relinquish.
Score: UCF 64, Houston 59
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018
Location: Houston, Texas | H&PE Arena
Houston had climbed their way back into the contest and trailed by just one point with 1:09 remaining, but Kornelia wright rattled home a 3-pointer with the shot clock at zero. A video review to see if Wright shot in time was upheld to give UCF the 4-point advantage.
Houston: Houston finished with two players in double figures, including a game-high 20 points from sophomore Jasmyne Harris. Angela Harris added 14 points, while Myyah West led the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds.
UCF: The Knights had three players reach the double-figures plateau including 19 from Kornelia Wright to lead the team. Zakiya Saunders finished with 16 points, while Masseny Kaba added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Houston honored its three seniors prior to Saturday’s contest, as the home crowd said farewell to Mariah Mitchell, Dionna Collins and Kaila Chizer.
- Houston made six 3-pointers in the game to extend its program record to 227 3-pointers made this season.
- With 20 points in the contest, sophomore Jasmyne Harris now has made 584 points this season, moving her to seventh on the all-time scoring list in a season at Houston.
- Angela Harris connected on two 3-pointers in the game, giving her 76 makes this year, which stands fifth on the Houston single season list. Jasmyne Harris also connected on two, giving her 73 makes and moving her to sixth.
- The Cougars collected six steals in the contest, giving them 335 on the season, the 12th most in school history.
- Junior Serithia Hawkins collected seven rebounds in the game, giving her 698 in her career and moving her into ninth on the all-time rebounding list at Houston.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
Houston wraps up the 2017-18 regular season with a road matchup at Cincinnati on Monday, Feb. 26. Tipoff against the Bearcats is scheduled for 6 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.
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.