HOUSTON (Feb. 18) -- A late Houston turnover and subsequent Cincinnati basket proved to be too much for the Lady Cougars to overcome as UH came up short, 66-64, in front of a season-high 2,805 in Hofheinz Pavilion. Cincinnati improves to 13-11 on the season, an even 7-7 in Conference USA play, while the Lady Cougars fall to 6-18 and 3-11.
Houston took a one-point lead, 64-63, into the last 30 seconds of the game, but UC's Madinah Slaise stole the ball from U of H's Kokeesha Randle and went in for the layup and a foul to give the Bearcats a lead they would not relinquish. The Lady Cougars had one last chance with nine seconds to play, but consecutive missed jumpers by Angela Curl sealed Houston's fate.
The leading scorer in C-USA, Slaise again paced the game's leading scorers with 28 points on 11-of-28 shooting. Her teammate, Candice Holley, chipped in a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. As a team Cincinnati shot .441 (26-59) from the field and .563 (9-16) from the line.
The tandem of Jessica Shanklin and Curl, who scored 17 and 11, respectively, led the Lady Cougars. ShaRonda Lasseter pulled down a team-high 10 boards to lead UH. Houston shot a tad bit better than the visiting Bearcats, nailing .469 (23-49) of their shots; however, the Lady Cougars struggled from the charity stripe, hitting only .435 (10-23) of their free throw attempts.
Houston took a 44-41 advantage into the lockerroom, thanks in part to a 7-2 run in the final two minutes of the half. Curl scored five of the Lady Cougars points during the run, including a three-pointer and three free throws. UH later opened up a nine-point lead early in the second half, but Cincinnati stormed back to take the lead, 54-52, with a 13-2 run fueled by the inside-outside duo of Slaise and Holley.
Next up for the Lady Cougars is a road trip to Louisville this Sunday. Houston returns home next week for its home finale, a non-conference tilt with the University of Texas-Pan American on Friday, February 25. Tipoff for the UTPA game is slated for 7 p.m.