Cougars Upend Rival Owls in Non-Conference Finale
Dec. 20, 2013
HOUSTON--- Four of five Cougar starters scored in double-figures in what was undoubtedly the most complete performance of the season, as Houston ran by crosstown rival Rice, 67-54, Friday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Junior point guard Demetria Foreman had herself a career game, as she recorded a career-best 20 points to lead all scorers, while also dishing out four assists in the win. Senior small forward Te'onna Campbell notched her fifth career double-double and third of the season, as she recorded 13 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds.
Senior center Yasmeen Thompson nearly had herself a double-double as well, as she scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Marche' Amerson notched her sixth double-digit scoring game of the season, putting in 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting for the Cougars.
Senior forward Jessica Kuster was the only player to score in double-figures for the Owls, as she recorded 18 points, but on just 6-of-20 shooting in the loss.
For Houston (4-7), the win marks the program's 50th all-time victory over Rice and its third straight victory over the Owls (5-6), while it also snaps what was a three-game losing skid and a seven-game road losing streak going back to last season.
The Cougars were all over the Owls early, as they commanded an 11-2 lead with 12:26 left to play in the first half after two Marissa Ashton made free throws.
Houston never trailed in the first half until literally the last play of the period, after Kuster stole the ball and scored an uncontested layup as the halftime buzzer sounded, giving Rice the slight 26-24 edge at the break.
Despite trailing at halftime, the Cougars had plenty to be optimistic about at the break, as they outscored the Owls 16-12 in the paint and won the second chance point category 11-4, while holding one of the nation's premier players in Kuster to just eight first half points on 2-of-11 from the field.
The Owls worked their lead as high as 34-28 with 15:37 left to play in the second half before Campbell went on to score seven answered points by herself, including converting on an athletic and-one opportunity, to singlehandedly give the Cougars a 35-34 advantage with 13:22 left to play in the contest.
However, Campbell would get help, a lot of help, as Foreman and Amerson combined to score 23 Houston's total 43 second half points, to help the Cougars outscore the Owls 32-20 the rest of the way.
In fact, from that point on, Houston never trailed again, as the Cougars knocked down big free throws down the stretch to help ice the game. Foreman led the way, as she connected on a career-best seven free throws on eight attempts, all in the second half.
The Cougars would balloon their lead to as high 14 points before the final horn sounded, as Houston ended up winning the battle inside, outrebounding Rice 46-35, while also outscoring the Owls 30-22 in the paint.
After ending the non-conference schedule on a high note, the focus now shifts to league play, as the Cougars will compete in their first-ever American Athletic Conference game Jan. 28 vs. UCF at 2:00 p.m. CT inside Hofheinz Pavilion.