Branch reaches rare program milestone in Houston’s loss to ECU
Senior Dorian Branch became the 27th Cougar to eclipse 1000 career points on Saturday afternoon as she scored 22 points in Houston’s 53-50 loss to East Carolina in Greenville.
The game began as a defensive battle with both teams struggling to get going offensively. Baskets came at a premium in the first, and as a result, at 10 minutes into the contest, the teams were tied at 10.
Branch carried the load offensively for the Cougars scoring six of Houston’s first points.
East Carolina built up a quick seven-point lead in the second quarter as the Pirates went on a 9-2 run.
Turnovers were a major problem for the Cougars all afternoon, especially in the second quarter, and that allowed East Carolina to maintain their lead. At the half, the Pirates led 23-17.
The turnover plague continued in the second half for the Cougars as Houston turned the ball over nine times, which halted the team’s ability to chip away at the Pirates’ lead.
East Carolina soon found itself leading 38-27 entering the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The Cougars, who had two-straight come-from-behind victories, began their comeback efforts once again.
Houston cut the Pirates lead down to seven after Branch connected on her second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter.
Another 3-pointer from Branch was followed by a layup from sophomore Tatyana Hill, which got the Cougars within two points with only 44 seconds remaining in the game.
Houston got a stop defensively and had the chance to tie or take the lead, but once again the team turned the ball over and never got a chance to fire up a shot.
The Cougars committed 29 turnovers for the entire game.
East Carolina knocked down clutch free throws to seal the victory. Houston lost 53-50.
Branch led the Cougars with 22 points and Hill followed with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.
The Cougars are now 12-12 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. Houston will look to bounce back Wednesday evening when they take on UCF at Fertitta Center.