The Lady Cougars suffered its second-straight loss at the hands of Saint Louis, 76-72. After Friday's loss to Charlotte, UH is hoping to hold on to a top four spot in the C-USA tournament as No. 1 in the National Division of Conference USA is no longer its own.
Saint Louis (13-7, 4-5 C-USA) scored the first basket of the game on Sunday in St. Louis, pulling up seven points before UH could tie. But, the Lady Cougars didn't capitalize on four free throw attempts.
Houston finally took its first lead with 10:17 left before halftime with a three-pointer from senior guard Jessica Shanklin, but UH continued to brick its freebies. The two teams exchanged the lead throughout the final six minutes. Lady Cougar senior Mone't Sykes hit a three-pointer at 2:22 followed by a jumper a minute later. UH laid the pressure on the Billikens at the sideline as Shanklin forced a turnover, but Sykes fouled sophomore guard Star Jackson in the scramble.
UH was only 2-12 from the free throw line in the first half, but Saint Louis was 10-12 as four of its players hit perfect numbers from the stripe as UH headed for the locker room down 38-37.
The second half was less than wonderful for the Lady Coogs as they struggled through an 8-2 Billiken run, holding within six points for most of the remainder of the game. Twice the Lady Cougars came within three on baskets by Sykes, and UH closed to within four on a three-pointer by Shanklin in the final minute.
Sykes hit a career-high 25 points with seven rebounds. Shanklin contributed 20 points with seven assists and four steals and senior guard/forward Cathy Lida put in 12 points. UH improved at the charity line, 10-21, and was 28-70 from the field.
Four Billikens hit double digits on Sunday: April McKinney (17), Harmonie
King (16), Star Jackson (13) and Christian Shelton (12). SLU was 16-20 at the
free throw line and 30-58 from the field.