Houston Upsets Memphis in Opening Round of American Tournament
March 7, 2014
UNCASVILLE, Conn.--- The Cougars received a career-high 24 points from sophomore guard Marche' Amerson, as she led Houston to a 73-67 upset victory over the seventh-seeded Memphis Tigers, Friday night in the opening round of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament.
For Houston (6-24), the win marked its first conference tournament triumph since defeating UTEP in the opening round of the 2011 Conference USA Tournament, as the Cougars now move on to the quarterfinals to take on second-seeded Louisville tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. CT
Amerson shot 5-of-11 from the field and converted on a career-best 14 free throws to notch her second straight 20-plus point scoring outing, while senior forward Te'onna Campbell recorded her third double figure scoring performance in the last four contests, pouring in 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds and notching a career-high tying three blocks on the night, as both played all 40 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Bianca Winslow provided a lift off the bench, as she put in a career-high tying 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, all in the first half.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson pulled down a game-high tying eight rebounds, and scored six points in 21 minutes of action.
Ariel Hearn led the way for Memphis (13-18), as she scored a game-high 27 points, while Asianna Fuquea-Bey chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds to round out the double-digit scorers for the Tigers.
It didn't look good for Houston early, as Memphis jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with 14:47 left to play in the first half.
But the Cougars wouldn't give in, as they grinded out a 16-8 run of their own to come within 17-16 with 9:35 left to play in the first half, after Alecia Smith connected on a three pointer from the left wing.
Moments later, Houston took its first lead of the game at 20-19, after Amerson sunk a jumper with 7:41 left to play in the first half.
The Cougars worked their lead as high as 31-25 with 2:17 left in the first half after Winslow connected on a jumper in the lane, but Memphis went on to score the final six points of the period to make it a 31-31 ballgame at halftime.
Houston managed to score 13 points off of 13 forced turnovers, while it ended the half shooting 50 percent from the field (11-of-22) and 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from beyond the arc.
The Cougars kept their hot shooting going in the second half, as they outscored the Tigers 18-10 over the first nine-plus minutes of action to claim a 49-41 advantage at the 11:20 mark.
In fact Houston took a 39-38 lead with 15:41 left to play and never trailed again, as it shot a season-best 48.9 percent from the floor on 22-of-45 shooting, leading to 73 points, which ended up being just one point shy of UH's season-high of 74 points scored back on Dec. 1 v. Prairie View A&M.
The Cougars led by as many as 10 before winning the contest by the final margin of six points.
Houston ended up scoring 30 points in the paint and putting in 23 points off of 21 forced turnovers.
Game Notes: Tonight was Houston's first time not trailing at halftime since Feb. 8 at Cincinnati...The Cougars improved to 2-1 vs. Memphis all-time in postseason play...Houston improved to 9-9 in opening round conference tournament games since 1997 and 11-16 in overall conference tournament games during that same span.