Cougars Claw Past North Texas; 66-61
Nov. 20, 2013
HOUSTON--- The Cougars led by as many as 15 points and never trailed after the 19-minute mark of the first half, as Houston got past North Texas, 66-61, to earn its first win of the season, Wednesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars (1-3) were led by sophomore guard Marche' Amerson, who recorded a game-high 15 points and went 7-of-11 from the free throw line, while senior forward Te'onna Campbell had whale of a season debut, as she recorded 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds en route to her third career double-double.
Sophomore guard Alecia Smith also fell into a nice groove, connecting on 4-of-9 field goal attempts for 12 points on the night.
Forward Briesha Wynn led the way for North Texas (1-2), as she scored a team-high 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while forward Acheil Tac put in nine points and recorded nine rebounds in the loss.
Junior guard Demetria Foreman scooped in a layup to tie the game at 2-2 with 19:17 left in the first half, and from then on Houston never looked back, as the Cougars built a lead as high as 12 points before eventually going into halftime with a commanding 32-20 lead.
The first half was as good of a half of basketball as the Cougars had played all season long, as they shot 11-of-25 from the field for 44 percent and held the Mean Green to just 8-of-28 shooting for 28.6 percent. The shooting percentage was the highest the Cougars have shot in any half so far this season; while it was the second lowest shooting percentage it has held an opponent to in any half this year.
Houston continued to dominate in the second half, building a lead as high as 15 points, after Alecia Smith nailed one of her three made treys on the night from the top of the key to make it a 53-38 advantage with just 8:21 left to play.
However, North Texas would make a run, as it put the clamps down defensively, holding Houston to without field goal for over seven minutes of game time. Within that span, the Mean Green grinded out an 18-4 run to eventually pull within 57-56 with three minutes left to play.
But Houston was able to earn clutch stops when it had to and make enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win, as the Cougars forced a season-high 26 turnovers on the night.
Houston now aims to build its first win streak of the young season, as they head to Omaha, Nebraska to take on Creighton University this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CT. at D.J. Sokol Arena.