March 5, 2005
The No. 3 Lady Cougars women's basketball team fell to No. 2 Louisville, 56-48 in the semi-finals of the Conference USA Tournament, Saturday evening in Halton Arena.
Louisville dominated the first half of play, beginning the game with a three-pointer from Jessica Huggins. The Cougars kept it within two points until another huge three-pointer by Cardinal, Angel Bradley, with seven minutes left in the first half. Houston went into the locker room at the half trailing by eight, shooting only 25% .
Houston First -team All C-USA pick, Sancho Lyttle fueled the Houston comeback attempt in the second half by scoring 16 of her game-high 22 points. Louisville's offense was tough holding Lyttle to only 10 rebounds, which was enough for Lyttle's twenty-second double-double on the season.
Houston's Joann Overstreet hit a three pointer with ten minutes left on the clock to move the game within one point. Lyttle was fouled and sent to the line, sinking both and putting the Cougars ahead for the first time since12:31 in the first half.
Louisville responded with an 8-0 run to move ahead of the Cougars with five and a half minutes of play remaining. That run was enough to keep the Cardinals momentum, advancing them to the finals for the first time since 1998. The Cardinals will face No. 4 TCU, who upset top-seeded DePaul 87-77 in the first semifinal, in the finals set for 5 p.m. EST tip Sunday on ESPN2.
The fate of the Lady Cougars hangs in the balance of the NCAA selection committee. The Lady Cougars are hoping to return to the big dance after not advancing beyond the second round last season. The tournament begins on March 19, 2005 with the selections on March 13, 2005 6 pm EST