UH takes season series with Rice

The Cougars swept Rice in both games this season with a 70-64 win over the Owls on Saturday. The game marks the Cougars’ fifth consecutive win and moves them to 11-9 on the season with a 5-1 record in Conference USA play. With the loss, the Owls drop to 8-13 this year and 1-6 against C-USA opponents.

"This isn’t an easy gym to play it. It’s noisy and it’s a rivalry game," interim head coach Danny Hughes said in a release. "No question it was a big win for us."

The second game between the Cougars and Owls proved to be the opposite of the first contest. In the first game, Rice won the turnover battle, while Houston dominated the boards. On Saturday, the Owls were the ones with the advantage on the boards, grabbing 44 rebounds to Houston’s 31. However, the Cougars came out strong defensively, forcing 20 turnovers while only giving up 15.

The Cougars took the lead 56 seconds into the first half and never lost it, as Houston saw its lead swell to as many as 18 points three times – all in the second half – in the contest.

"I thought we were consistent for the whole game, and we asnwered their runs," Hughes said. "We had some players step up and hit some big shots when it counted."

Senior guard Tye Jackson led the team with 15 points and added eight assists and four rebounds. Jackson’s 5-of-12 shooting performance helped the team to a 45.6 percent effort from the field during the game.

Freshman forward Courtney Taylor grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Cougars and notched 14 points in the victory. The game also featured a season-high point performance by senior forward Whitney James, who totaled 14 points.

Just like the first time around, the Owls had two players tie for the team lead in points.

Senior forward Tiffany Loggins, who came off the bench, and starting senior guard Kadie Riverin both scored 17 points in the game.

The Cougars will try to make it six consecutive wins on Friday as they travel to Memphis to take on the Tigers at 7 p.m. Memphis is 5-13 on the season, and 2-3 in conference play.

Houston hopes to continue its success and maintain its position in second place in C-USA standings.

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