UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The No. 10 seeded Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team saw its American Athletic Conference Championship run come to an end with a 67-58 loss in the quarterfinal round to No. 2 Temple on Saturday.
Both teams came out tight to open the contest, combining for just one field goal over the first 3:50 of play. Angela Harris gave Houston an early lead at 3-2 with a nifty move to get into the lane and score, but the Cougars went cold the remainder of the quarter. Temple built an eight point lead on an 8-0 run down the stretch, however Harris drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 15-10 at the end of the first.
The Cougars reeled off five straight points to open the second quarter on an old-fashioned 3-point play from Kierra Graves and a layup by Serithia Hawkins. The two squads traded baskets throughout the middle of the quarter before Harris made another 3-pointer to reclaim the lead at 22-21 for Houston. Temple’s defense would clamp down the remainder of the half, and the Owls finished the quarter on a 7-3 run to lead 28-25 at the break.
Houston shot just 34.6 percent from the field in the first half, but the Cougars were able to hang with the Owls by holding Temple to just 37.5 percent and working the ball inside to the tune of 12 points in the paint through the first 20 minutes.
Temple came out on fire in the third quarter, making four of their first six shots and opening the period on a 9-2 run to force an early Houston timeout. Houston worked the lead down to five twice in the quarter, on a pair of baskets from Jacqueline Blake and Jasmyne Harris. However, with just 29 seconds remaining in the third, Alliya Butts hit a 3-pointer to make the score 44-36 with 10 minutes to play in the game.
Temple’s defense kept up the pressure in the fourth quarter holding the Cougars to just six points over the first 5:30 and extending their lead to 12 at 54-42. Twice the Cougars cut the lead to 10, but Temple built a small 5-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Butts to extend the lead to 15 with just 3:29 remaining. Houston responded with a 5-0 run of their own, but it was Butts again from deep with 2:26 left to play, making the score 64-51.
Score: No. 2 Temple 67, No. 10 Houston 58
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Conn.) | American Athletic Conference Championship Quarterfinal
Houston went into the locker room at halftime trailing by just three points, but the Owls scored nine of the first 11 points in the third quarter to pick up their first double-digit lead of the contest.
Houston: The Cougars were led in scoring by freshman Angela Harris and senior Jacqueline Blake, who each scored 15 points in the contest. Sophomore Serithia Hawkins was the third Cougar in double figures with 10 points and 12 rebounds for her 11th career double-double.
Temple: The Owls had a big night from Feyonda Fitzgerald who led all scorers with 30 points in the game. Alliya Butts added 19, while Tanaya Atkinson contributed 16. Atkinson completed her double-double with 12 rebounds, while Ruth Sherrill pulled down a game-high 15 boards.
NEWS AND NOTES
- With 10 points and 12 rebounds, sophomore Serithia Hawkins collected her seventh double-double of the season and the 11th of her career.
- Houston was able to work its offense down low in the contest, outscoring the Owls in points in the paint 30-22.
- The Cougars also won the bench points and points off turnovers battles in the game, taking each 7-0 and 16-14 respectively.
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