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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Sports

UH women’s basketball routs Memphis for fourth straight win


UH women’s basketball junior forward Tatyana Hill (30) drives to the basket against Memphis on Feb. 13 at the Fertitta Center. Hill led the team with 15 points and nine rebounds. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

UH women’s basketball junior forward Tatyana Hill (30) drives to the basket against Memphis on Feb. 13 at the Fertitta Center. Hill led the team with 15 points and nine rebounds. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

Smothering defense from the Houston women’s basketball team helped the Cougars pick up their seventh win in eight games, this time against Memphis, 71-50

Junior guard Tatyana Hill showed out with a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Laila Blair dished out a career-high seven assists.

The Tigers got off to a quick start, opening with a 7-0 run, while the Cougars (12-5, 9-4 American Athletic Conference) went over 3:30 minutes without scoring. 

“Tulsa was in my head again,” head coach Ronald Hughey said. “I didn’t think we were that focused before that game and during that game.”

But sophomore guard Miya Crump put UH on the board with three of her 15 points to get the Cougars within four. 

From there, the UH women’s basketball team didn’t have much trouble catching back up to Memphis thanks to some offensive rebounding from sophomore guard Britney Onyeje, who ended up with seven total rebounds. 

“When we started to pick our energy up, and started to be more aggressive, then things started to turn for us,” Hughey said. 

Hill stepped in, got inside the paint, and took advantage of the free-throw line. Right after, she finished off an assist to keep the Cougars in the game.

Building off this momentum, back-to-three’s rained in from junior guard Dymond Gladney to lead 19-15.

“We talked about supreme energy, let’s finish epic,” Hughey said.  “So when Dymond started to hit those three’s, that’s when everybody started to get the momentum up.”

UH’s pressure defense started to completely overwhelm Memphis as the Cougars tallied steal after steal. This sparked a 14-0 run and a 10-point lead before the first quarter ended.

“It’s our standard, it’s our culture… you have to lay your hat on defense,” Hughey said. 

The Tigers managed to get a second-chance 3-pointer to seal the first frame, with UH up 25-18. 

When Memphis could make it to its side of the court, Hill was there to draw the charge to result in another Tigers’ turnover. Keeping it going on the other side, Hill stretched the Cougars’ lead to nine with a rebound and put-back. 

Another three gave UH a 30-18 lead, this time from fifth year Eryka Sidney right off the bench as Memphis continued to struggle on offense, going 7-of-22 from the field. 

After limiting the Tigers to only four points in the second quarter, the Cougars rolled into the next half up 40-22. 

“For defense, rebounding, contesting, forcing tough two’s, taking away three’s… everybody has the same accountability,” Hughey said. 

As soon as the third period began, Blair opened with a 3-pointer, keeping all the energy on UH’s side. 

The Cougars’ kept applying pressure to Memphis, who shot 26.7 percent from the field in the frame. 

Sidney ensured that UH stormed into the last quarter with a layup at the buzzer that swirled in just in time. 

The Cougars enjoyed a 25-point advantage.

The assists for UH kept rolling in, with the team totaling 18 for the day. One from Gladney led to an and-one from Hill.

“We shared the ball, we moved it, we’re starting to play unselfish the entire way,” Hughey said.

Capitalizing on more turnovers from the Tigers, the Cougars ran away with the 21-point win. 

“We don’t have to have a top scorer be the same person every game…it doesn’t matter,” Hughey said. “They can just get out and play, and relax…and feed their teammates so everybody can have fun. And we call fun (a) W-I-N.”

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