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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sports

Mustangs trample Cougars in regular season finale


The Cougars will take a No. 10 seed into the American Conference Tournament after falling 74-45 to SMU Monday night. | File Photo/The Cougar

The Cougars’ regular season finale ends on a low note as Houston fell 74-45 to SMU Monday night in Dallas.

The Cougars finished the regular season at 11-18 overall, 4-12 in the American. They scored the most wins in the Hughey era and their best record since 2012-2013.

Senior center Jacqueline Blake ended her regular season career in style with a career-high 18 points on 5-14 shooting, including a career-high four 3-pointers.

The first quarter was a battle for each team. The Cougars held the Mustangs to only one point for the first four minutes of the game. Freshmen guards Angela Harris and Jasmyne Harris each scored four points to put the Cougars ahead 15-14.

SMU came back with a vengeance in the second quarter, opening on a 12-0 run interrupted only by a Cougar timeout.

Four and a half minutes into the quarter, Jasmyne Harris put up the first points of the period for Houston, scoring a three-pointer to end the Mustangs’ run and cut the lead to only seven points. SMU closed out the first half on a 7-3 run putting them up 34-24.

The Cougars couldn’t keep up with the Mustangs’ dynamic offense as SMU came out of the half to an 8-0 run. Houston continued to struggle on offense, shooting 4-1 from the field, only 36.4 percent. Blake contributed seven of her 18 points in the third, but the Cougars were behind at the end of the 10-minute period.

The Mustangs’ defense was relentless in the final quarter of the game. Houston scored only 10 points throughout the period. Meanwhile, SMU outscored the Cougars by 16-7 in the final seven minutes of the game.

Sophomore Serithia Hawkins completed her third straight double-figure rebound game, No. 19 of her career, with a game-high 13 boards.

With this loss the Cougars hold the No. 10 seed heading into the American Athletic Conference Championship this weekend.

Houston will face No. 7 Cincinnati on Friday inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will air live on ESPN3.

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