Lady Cougars Fall to Charlotte in Conference Action
Houston's season-high winning streak halted at six games
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - The University of Houston Lady Cougars came into Friday (Feb. 2) night's game against the Charlotte 49ers, in last place of Conference USA's American division with a 2-6 league record (6-12 overall), expecting to win their season-high and C-USA-high seventh straight game and maintain their first-place lead over Tulane in C-USA's National division.
But the league's biggest surprise team of the season started slow and got into foul trouble late as the 49ers snapped the Lady Cougars' winning streak with a big 70-58 upset over Houston at Dale F. Halton Arena.
The loss was the Lady Cougars' first since dropping a 63-62 decision at Cincinnati on January 5 and only their second against a C-USA opponent this season.
Charlotte scored first and went ahead with a lead as much as 31-13 before Houston started to come back. Senior Jessica Shanklin poured in 15 first-half points, including three three-pointers, as the Lady Cougars cut the 49ers' lead to 37-28 entering the half.
The Lady Cougars started the second half strong scoring 20 points and holding Charlotte to just nine as they tied the game at 48-48 with 7:53 remaining. They were within two points until the final three minutes when Houston fouls allowed the 49ers to pull ahead on seven consecutive free throws.
Shanklin shot 11-of-17 on the night and bucketed 20 points for the second time this season as she finished with a team-high 25 points. Fellow senior Monet Sykes recorded her team-leading fifth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 boards. Senior Cathy Lida was the third Lady Cougar to reach double figures as she added 10 points.
Shanklin added four assists, five rebounds and two steals on the night.
With the loss Houston falls to 14-7 overall on the season and 7-2 in
conference play. They travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to take on the Lady
Billikens of Saint Louis University on Sunday afternoon, February 4, with
tip-off scheduled for 2:00pm.