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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sports

Tulsa ends tournament run for women’s basketball


Junior guard Serithia Hawkins scored 11 points, but the Cougars were defeated again by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, knocking them out in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Despite its overall improvement from a year ago, the women’s basketball season came crashing to a halt against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Saturday night.

In the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament, the No. 5 seed Cougars were upset 98-72 by the No. 12 seed Golden Hurricane. Sophomore guard Angela Harris scored 27 points, but the rest of the team proved ineffective as they gave the Golden Hurricane only its 10th win of the year.

This was a rematch for the Cougars as they dropped the only regular season matchup against the Golden Hurricane 83-77 on Feb. 10. But Tulsa got off to an early lead, and Houston was never able to recover.

The offense for the Cougars was ineffective the whole game. Angela Harris knocked down four three-pointers, and sophomore guard Jasmyne Harris added two more. No other player made a shot from distance.

The team’s leading scorer, Jasmyne Harris, had a rough game. She was held to 12 points and was forced into committing seven of the team’s 18 turnovers. Junior guard Serithia Hawkins added 11 points and freshman guard Julia Blackshell-Fair added another 10 in the effort.

Outside of the double-digit scorers, there was little production. The rest of the team combined for just 12 points on 5-17 shooting from the floor.

The team did not only struggle on the offensive side of the floor. The Cougars were impotent on defense. Tulsa scored more points in a game against Houston (98) than any other team this season. Their total outdid the No. 1 UConn Huskies who scored 95 in their match against the Cougars on Jan. 13.

Five Tulsa players scored in double digits, and two scored more than 20 points as the Golden Hurricane’s offense had its way with the Cougars all game. Forward Crystal Polk had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Golden Hurricane. She was the most efficient player as she missed only two of her 15 shot attempts. Guard Shug Dickson had another strong showing against the Cougars as she picked up 22 points and threw four assists.

This game marked the Cougars’ fourth straight loss and fifth in their last six games to end the season.

The season may have ended in a bleak way, but the future is bright for head coach Ronald Hughey’s team. Jasmyne Harris and Angela Harris have taken the next step as emerging stars for the team. Both were major reasons the team’s win total improved from 12 to 20. Plus the return of Hawkins will provide the strong rebounding presence she has given the team all year.

The Cougars will also be adding three star recruit Starr Jacobs, a 6’0″ forward from Duncanville that is ranked at No. 14 in her position by ESPN. UH will be looking to build on this strong season and continue the program’s upwards trajectory.

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