Arlington, Texas – The Houston Cougar Women’s Basketball team came back to win from a double-digit deficit for the fourth time this season, as it defeated UT Arlington 62-58, inside College Park Center, on Friday.
The first quarter was a defensive struggle for both sides, with UT Arlington holding the Cougars to just seven points, on 3-of-18 (17.9 percent) shooting from the field. The Mavericks grabbed an early 5-0 lead, before sophomore guard Angela Harris put Houston on the scoreboard for the first time with a layup at the 8:00 minute mark.
Harris would cut the lead to one on the next possession, but Houston would be held to just three points the remainder of the period. UTA used a 7-1 run over the next 4:20 to build a seven point lead that it carried into the first intermission.
A 6-0 run to open the frame for UT Arlington pushed the lead to double digits for the first time at 20-7, and the Cougars would go 3:48 into the quarter before making a field goal. After a free throw from junior Serithia Hawkins and a pair from the charity stripe from junior Myyah West, Julia Blackshell-Fair cut the lead back to seven at 20-13 with 6:12 remaining in the half.
UT Arlington would again clamp down on defense though, holding Houston to just five points over the remainder of the quarter, while pushing the lead to as much as 14 at 29-15 with 1:35 remaining. The Cougars were held without a field goal for the final 6:12 of the second quarter, but Houston used a free throw from Harris, and two more from West to cut the deficit to 29-18, heading to the half.
Houston swung the momentum in a big way to start the second half, opening the third quarter on a 6-0 run and holding UT Arlington scoreless for the first 2:55 of the period. A pair of free throws and a jumper from Jasmyne Harris, followed by Hawkins knocking down two from the charity stripe cut the lead to 29-24.
After a free throw from the Mavericks, Harris drilled Houston’s first three-pointer of the game. The Cougars followed that with a steal and a finish the other way from Octavia Barnes, and another stop on the next possession led to a Dorian Branch bucket to give the Cougars their first lead of the contest at 31-30 with 6:34 left in the quarter.
UTA reclaimed the lead on a pair of free throws on the next possession, but the Cougars snatched the lead right back at 34-32 with Jasmyne Harris’ second 3-pointer of the quarter. UTA tied the game on the next possession with their first field goal of the quarter at the 4:40 mark, but Houston used a 7-0 run thanks to a free throw and a bucket from Hawkins and back-to-back scores from Jasmyne Harris to push the lead to 41-34.
Houston outscored the Mavericks 30-13 in the third quarter and forced 11 turnovers in the frame to take an eight-point lead into the final period. Octavia Barnes added a pair of baskets down the stretch in the third, and Hawkins ended the period with two more free throws to give Houston a 48-42 advantage after three.
The momentum would change again early in the fourth, and UT Arlington rattled off the first seven points of the period to reclaim the lead at 49-48. The lead would change hands seven times over the next six minutes, beginning with a layup from Hawkins to make the score 50-49. UTA took the lead back on the next possession, but Blackshell-Fair picked up a steal underneath Houston’s basket and laid it in to make it 52-51 Houston.
A layup from Rebekah VanDijk stole the lead back from the Cougars, but again they had an answer with a 3-pointer from Angela Harris with 3:13 to play in regulation. However, a 5-0 run from UTA, capped by a free throw from Jennifer Parker gave the Mavericks a 58-55 lead with just 1:12 to play. Houston got a quick bucket from Angela Harris to cut the lead back to one at 58-57 with 51 seconds remaining, and 15 seconds later, Dorian Branch gave Houston the lead at 59-58 with a steal and a fast-break layup.
Houston forced another turnover on the next possession, and Angela Harris iced the game with a pair of free throws. Harris would add another from the charity stripe with just half a second remaining to bring the score to the final at 62-58.
Score: Houston 62 (6-2), UT Arlington 58 (5-2)
Date: Friday, December 1, 2017
Location: College Park Center (Arlington, Texas)
Houston’s defense has been one of the best in the nation at forcing turnover throughout the early season. The Cougars defense showed up in a big way in the second half, forcing UTA to commit 18 turnovers over the final 20 minutes, leading to a 28-15 advantage in the points off turnovers battle throughout the game.
Houston: Sophomore Jasmyne Harris paced the Cougars on offense with 16 points, along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Serithia Hawkins added 14 points of her own, while tying Dorian Branch with a team-high six rebounds, and Angela Harris added 12 points and four boards.
UT Arlington: UT Arlington saw just one player reach double figures in scoring after Rebekah VanDijk’s 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. Jennifer Parker led all rebounders on the night with 14 boards.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Houston won its fourth consecutive game for the first time since Nov. 23-30, 2012.
- The Cougars wrapped their month-long, season opening road trip with a 6-2 record, including a 3-2 mark in true road games and a 3-0 record at neutral sites. The 8-game, away-from-home trip is the longest that Houston has ever had to start a season, and the longest such streak overall since playing nine games away from home in 2004-05.
- Houston has come from behind when trailing by more than 10 points in four of its six wins this season. The Cougars trailed by 14 with 1:35 remaining in the first half against UTA, and came back from deficits of 14, 12 and 12 against Milwaukee, Liberty and Northeastern, respectively.
- With her 3-point basket in the second half, sophomore Angela Harris moved into a tie for 16th on the all-time 3-pointers made list. Harris’ 71 3-pointers made matches Nicole Oliver who had 71 from 2000-04.
- Junior Serithia Hawkins pulled down six rebounds in the game, giving her 530 in her career. Hawkins moved past Voccia Calhoun (526; 1988-92) for 16th on the all-time rebounding list. Hawkins’ four defensive rebounds gives her 328 in her career, moving her past Yasmeen Thompson 326; 2011-14) for 13th on the defensive rebound list, and her two offensive boards moved her to 13th on the offensive list, passing Brittany Mason (201: 2007-11).
- The Cougars forced 26 UT Arlington turnovers in the game and came away with 16 steals. Houston entered first in the American Athletic Conference in turnovers forced per game (24.57) and steals (94), while ranking 10th and 11th in the nation, respectively.
- Houston outscored UTA 28-24 in the paint and 28-15 off turnovers. The Cougars pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, leading to an 11-8 advantage on second chance points, and dominated the fast-break point category 14-4.
- Houston’s 6-2 record means the Cougars are off to their best start since the 2010-11 squad opened the season 8-1.
- With the win, Houston improved to 10-0 all-time against UT Arlington, while Hughey improved to 1-0.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars take the court for the first time inside H&PE Arena with their home-opener against Texas Tech, on Sunday. Tipoff against the Red Raiders is scheduled for 2 p.m.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Houston will play its 2017-18 home games inside H&PE Arena on the campus of nearby Texas Southern University while renovations continue on the $60 million Fertitta Center.
For the best value to enjoy all 13 regular-season home games, fans can purchase a Shasta Pass for just $80. With the Shasta Pass, fans enjoy admission into every Women’s Basketball home game as well as remaining Volleyball and Soccer contests and Softball games in the spring.
Single game tickets are also available for games throughout the Women’s Basketball season, starting as low as $3 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats if purchases are made online before gameday. Ticket sales on gameday or walkup sales begin at $5 for general admission and $20 for reserved floor seats.
Fans can purchase tickets by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets or by clicking HERE, or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS.
Fans can receive daily information and in-game updates by following @UHCougarWBB on Twitter. Fans can also catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at facebook.com/UHCougarWBB.