Cougars overtake Sooners at home in 85-69 win
The women’s basketball team picked up a big win Saturday afternoon at the Fertitta Center, defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 85-69.
The first quarter featured big offensive runs by both teams, but Houston got off to a fast start to begin the game.
Junior forward Maya Jones scored four early points and senior forward Dorian Branch knocked down a 3 to help the Cougars jump out to a 9-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Oklahoma responded to Houston’s early scoring run with their own 9-0 run to tie the game up at nine midway through the first.
After the Sooners tied the game up, the Cougars offense would catch fire.
Houston outscored Oklahoma 19-7 in the remaining five minutes of the first. Branch capped off the Cougar’s strong first quarter with a steal and buzzer-beating layup to give the Cougars a 28-16 lead.
Branch led Houston with eight first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Tatyana Hill scored six in the first.
The Sooners would slowly chip away at the Cougars lead in the second quarter.
Oklahoma guards Tatum Veitenheimer and Ana Llanusa combined for 14 points in the second quarter to cut Houston’s lead to 40-35 at the half.
The Cougars came out of the half and exploded on offense, scoring 23 third-quarter points and grabbing nine offensive boards.
At one point, freshman forward Bria Patterson, sophomore guard Dymond Gladney and senior guard Jasmyne Harris hit consecutive threes to help Houston add to their lead.
After the third, Houston led 63-50.
In the fourth quarter, Houston’s offense continued to stay hot and was able to close out the game, winning 85-69. With the win, Houston improved to 3-2 on the season.
Overall, the Cougars had five players in double figures scoring, led by Branch, Harris, and junior guard Julia Blackshell-Fair who each scored 14.
Head coach Ronald Hughey was pleased with how the team moved the ball and got many players involved.
“When you get three players in double figures, you’re a good team. When you get four players in double figures you’re a pretty good team,” Hughey said, “but when you start to get five in double figures you’re leading to something special.”
The Cougars also dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 30 rebounds.
“We really focused on just staying together and boxing out,” Blackshell-Fair said, who had six boards herself.
The Cougars will look to build on this win over the Thanksgiving holiday when they travel to Canada to compete in the Greater Victoria Invitational from Nov. 28-30.