Nov. 30, 2012
HOUSTON - Marissa Ashton poured in a career-high 22 points and drained six 3-pointers to lead the University of Houston women's basketball team to a 77-62 victory over New Mexico on Friday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars notched their fourth-straight victory to improve to 4-4 overall, while the Lobos dropped to 6-2 on the season.
Ashton connected on six of her first seven attempts from long range to pace the Cougars, who shot a blazing 54 percent (27-of-50) as a team. The junior forward rattled off her 22 points in only 24 minutes, going 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-9 from distance.
Freshman guard Marche' Amerson had a breakout performance with career highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes of action. The Bryan, Texas, native was 5-of-9 from the field, including a 3-pointer, and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Senior point guard Porsche Landry scored in double figures for the eighth time this season with 15 points off a 7-of-11 effort from the field, while handing out a season-best seven assists against only one turnover.
The Cougars maintained control of the contest from early on, taking a lead just over three minutes into the game that would never be relinquished.
Freshman guard Alecia Smith put the Cougars up by seven with under eight minutes remaining in the opening half when she pulled up and drained a trey, and Amerson followed with another bucket from downtown on the next possession to cap a 15-6 run and give Houston a 26-16 lead at the 7:18 mark.
The Lobos battled back to make it a three-point game when Ashton heated up, knocking down a trifecta at the 3:00 mark and striking again from long range with just under a minute to push the advantage back to eight points.
Landry finished a 9-2 Houston run with only four seconds remaining in the opening half with a jumper in the paint to push the lead to 10 points at the break.
New Mexico quickly clawed back to within six points at the 17:17 mark of the second half, but wouldn't get any closer, as Landry dished to junior center Yasmeen Thompson for layups on back-to-back possessions to push back out to an 11-point advantage.
The Lobos would trim the deficit to under 10 points on two more occasions, but Ashton ended each run with 3-pointers, and struck again with her sixth bomb of the night to give the Cougars their biggest lead at 20 points with 6:35 left to play.
Thompson, who continues to lead the nation in field-goal percentage (72.5), added nine points, four rebounds and two blocks, while junior forward Te'onna Campbell chipped in seven points, four boards and three assists.
The Cougars were red-hot in the second half, shooting 61 percent (14-of-23) against a New Mexico team that entered Friday's contest limiting its opposition to just 53.7 points per game.
The Lobos edged Houston in the rebounding battle by a 34-32 margin, while the Cougars forced 16 turnovers compared to their 15 miscues.
Houston will put its four-game winning streak on the line against TCU at 2 p.m., on Sunday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth. The contest will be televised by FOX Sports Southwest.
The Cougars evened the overall series with New Mexico, as each team has now won three contests, while Houston snapped a two-game skid against the Lobos.
Houston improved to 2-0 when playing the Lobos at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Junior forward Marissa Ashton posted a career-best 22 points, highlighted by a 6-of-9 effort from 3-point range.
Ashton's six 3-pointers were the most by a Cougar since Brittney Scott tallied seven in a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 5, 2010.
Freshman guard Marche' Amerson posted career highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes.