Comeback Cougars do it again, erase fourth quarter deficit to beat SMU
Down eight entering the fourth quarter, the Cougars mounted another thrilling comeback to defeat the SMU Mustangs 55-53 for a second-straight win.
In the first, SMU jumped out to a quick lead and continued to add to it throughout most of the quarter. The Cougars struggled offensively, committing five turnovers in the opening period, which helped the Mustangs build the lead 19-9 after one.
In the second quarter, Houston started to chip away at SMU’s lead. Junior KeAsja Peace, who scored a quick six points to open up the period, helped spark the comeback.
The Cougars cut SMU’s lead down to five midway through the quarter, but the Mustangs closed out the half on an 8-2 run and took a 33-22 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, freshman Bria Patterson and senior Dorian Branch combined for 10 points in the quarter to lead the Houston offense.
With just over 1:30 left in the quarter, SMU’s lead was down to three, but once again the Mustangs finished the period strong and took a 44-36 lead into the fourth.
The Cougars opened up the final quarter with a 12-2 run, which was highlighted by Patterson and Branch combining to hit three 3-pointers, and the team took its first lead of the game with about six minutes remaining in regulation.
SMU retook the lead but sophomore Dymond Gladney answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 52 with just over two minutes remaining.
With about 90 seconds left in the game, junior Julia Blackshell-Fair knocked down a pair of free throws, which ended up putting the Cougars over the hump as the defense shut down the Mustangs offense for the remainder of the game.
Patterson led the Cougars with 17 points and six rebounds. Branch followed with 10 points. Blackshell-Fair pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds and dished out a career-high eight assists.
With this win, Houston improves 12-11 on the season and 5-4 in conference play. The Cougars return to action on Saturday when to take on East Carolina in Greenville.