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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Women's Basketball

Ashton’s career day leads Cougars to fourth consecutive win


 

With 10:25 remaining in the second half, junior forward Marissa Ashton rose to shoot a contested 3-pointer, the players on the Cougars’ bench rose and celebrated, anticipating a made basket — the same treatment NBA great Reggie Miller got from his teammates when he took a 3 pointer.

Ashton

Ashton

Ashton’s teammates were correct, the shot was nothing but net and gave UH a 57-46 lead. Ashton hit 6-9 attempts from long distance, helping guide the Cougars to a 77-62 victory against New Mexico.

“There’s no stopping Marissa Ashton once she gets going,” said senior point guard Porsche Landry. “One goes in then another, then the next one is going in.”

It was the Cougars’ fourth win in a row and evened their record at 4-4.

“They’re a young team,” said head coach Todd Buchanan. “I feel like we’ve opened the door to showing them what winning is all about.”

Ashton finished with a game-high and career high 22 points and said the basket got bigger after each shot. Buchanan has seen this production from Ashton in practice and was glad to see it happen in the game.

The Cougars took control of the game early in the first half after three buckets by Landry led a 6-0 UH run and gave them a 8-5 lead, one they would never relinquish.

The closest New Mexico got to the lead was 28-25 after freshman guard Bryce Owens hit two free throws.

Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer drives past a defender on her path to the rim against Alabama. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer drives past a defender on her path to the rim against Alabama. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

UH eventually pushed its lead to 37-27 at halftime after two Ashton 3-pointers, including a step-back shot off dribble and a clutch Landry fading jumper near the rim with four seconds remaining.

Freshman forward Marsche Amerson had one of her biggest games as a Cougar. She scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, nearly garnering a double-double. She had 12 points before the break and set the tone from the first bucket of the game, Buchanan said.

The second half preceded the same way. At times Landry, Amerson and Ashton all made good individual plays. Landry made plays for her teammates too, she finished with 15 points and seven assists. Landry set up teammates with easy looks at the rim in transition and in the half court offense.

On defense, the Cougars held the Lobos at less than 40 percent shooting in for the game, using both a 2-3 zone and man-to-man. Landry said their communication was key to success.

New Mexico’s scoring was top-heavy, Owens, (20) senior guard Caroline Durbin, (17) and redshirt junior Deeva Vaughn (14) accounted for 51 of its 62 points but the rest of the team had only 11 points.

Buchanan said he was happy with the win but felt that the team could close out games better.

It’s all about not being satisfied. It’s about staying hungry,” Buchanan said. “It’s about continuing to be the best team that we can be.”

Marissa Ashton makes a move on Sarah Halasz as she tries to get to the cup. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Marissa Ashton makes a move on Sarah Halasz as she tries to get to the cup. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

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