UH controls boards to continue winning ways

The UH women’s basketball team welcomed cross-city rival Rice to Hofheinz Pavilion on Sunday and came out with a victory in nail-biter fashion.

By the final buzzer, Houston had built a lead of 71-66, and the Cougars improved to 8-9 on the season and 2-1 in Conference USA play.

The win did not come easily, however, and Houston had to rally late to come back. The team finished strong by going on an 8-2 offensive run with just over a minute left in the game.

Senior guard Twiggy McIntyre finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with her five rebounds and two assists. Two players, forward Morgan Mayse and guard Tara Watts, who each had 14 points in the game, led Rice’s scoring.

The Cougars rode a tremendous rebounding performance by freshman forward Courtney Taylor, who logged 14 of Houston’s 54 rebounds in the game. While the Owls had a better field goal percentage during the game (40.3 against Houston’s 35.5), the Cougars’ domination in the paint kept Rice from gaining the advantage, only allowing them to grab 35 boards over the course of the game.

With 1:10 left to play in the game, and the Owls leading 65-64, Rice head coach Greg Williams was slapped with a technical foul for protesting a charging call.

Senior forward Whitney James drew the charge, and McIntyre hit both free throws that stemmed from the technical foul. This was a pivotal moment in the game, as the Cougars seized the lead and never looked back.

Rice attempted to foul Houston in order to extend the game, but good defense by the Cougars in the final minute of play forced a turnover and held the Owls to just 1-of-3 from the field in the closing minute of the game.

The victory helped UH close out their tough six-game home stand with a winning record of 4-2. The next challenge for the Cougars will be to get back to a .500 record by winning against Central Florida.

A win against the Golden Knights would give the Cougars a 9-9 record on the season, and improve their C-USA record to 3-1.

Central Florida is 7-9 on the season and 0-3 in Conference USA play. The game will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in Orlando.

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