March 3, 2014
PHILADELPHIA--- Behind a game-high 20 points from sophomore forward Marche' Amerson, the Cougars rallied from a large halftime deficit and outscored the Owls 35-24 in the second half, but it wasn't enough, as Houston fell at Temple, 66-54, Monday night in the 2013-14 regular season finale.
With the regular season in the books, Houston now looks ahead to Friday where it will begin its journey in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut as the No. 10 seed with a first round game vs. the Memphis Tigers (13-17, 6-12 The American) at 7:00 p.m. CT at the Mohegan Sun Arena, who clinched the tournament's seventh seed with a win over Cincinnati earlier in the day.
Amerson notched her team-leading third 20-plus point scoring game of the year, while senior center Yasmeen Thompson recorded her team-best sixth double-double of the season, as she scored 10 points and pulled down a game-high and season-best 15 rebounds in her Philadelphia homecoming.
Sophomore guard Alecia Smith chipped in with eight points, as she made her 11th start of the season, while senior forward Te'onna Campbell dropped in seven points and dished out two assists in 26 minutes of action.
Natasha Thames and Taylor Robinson led the way for Temple (14-15, 8-10 The American), as each poured in a team-high 16 points, while Erica Covile pulled down a team-high equaling nine rebounds and chipped in with 12 points.
Thompson got things going for Houston (5-24, 1-17 The American) early, as she muscled in a layup to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead with 17:10 remaining in the first half.
Temple then launched a 9-0 scoring run to take a 13-5 lead with 14:17 remaining in the half.
However, Houston was able to keep it close over the next five-plus minutes of game action, as each team traded buckets back-and-forth, but then the Owls opened things up a bit, producing a 15-2 scoring run take a commanding 34-15 advantage with 4:54 remaining in the half.
The Owls went into the halftime intermission with a 42-19 lead, as it shot 16-of-34 from field for 47.1 percent.
But the Cougars made sure it was a different story in the second 45-minute period, as Houston began to rally from what was at one point a 27-point deficit with 19:02 left to play in the contest.
Houston outscored Temple 11-3 within a span of just over five minutes, to cut the deficit to 49-30, after Campbell banked home a floater in the lane with 13:33 remaining.
And the run wouldn't stop there, as the momentum continued with the Cougars outscoring the Owls 24-11 over a 13-plus minute period to trim Temple's lead down again to just 57-43 with still 5:16 left to play, after Amerson connected on a tough fall-away jumper.
The Cougars continued to claw back, pulling within 14 points once more after Amerson drove the lane and converted on a tough and-one opportunity with 3:47 left to give Houston a fighting chance, as the Cougars held Temple to just 6-of-29 shooting from the field for 20.7 percent in the second half.
Houston crawled to with in 12 before the final buzzer sounded, but unfortunately there just wasn't enough time left on the clock to finish the comeback.
The Cougars owned the paint in the second half, outscoring Temple in that category 20-12, while they held a 30-22 advantage on the glass, and won the second chance point battle 13-10.
The Cougars head to Uncasville, Connecticut to play in their first-ever American Athletic Conference Tournament game, Friday at 7:00 p.m. CT inside Mohegan Sun Arena, as they'll take on Memphis for the second time within a six-day span.