Women's Basketball

UH falls to Marshall, drops below .500

As dominant and balanced as the Cougars looked in the first half of Sunday’s game against Conference USA opponent Marshall, they looked equally flat in the second.

The Cougars, who dropped to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in C-USA after the disappointing 66-61 home loss, spent most of the first half enjoying a comfortable lead thanks to an 11-2 run that was capped off by a free throw by sophomore Porsche Landry at the 11:31 mark.

Landry, who finished with 15 points, was helped in the cause by three other UH players finishing in double digits. Junior guard Brittney Scott led the team with 16 points, and junior forward Lesslee Mason contributed 14. Most notable were the 12 points scored by junior forward Courtney Taylor. Along with her 10 rebounds, she recorded the 32nd double-double of her career and finished just 14 points short of being the 19th member of the program’s 1,000-point club.

It was that balanced scoring that allowed the Cougars to race to a 42-23 halftime lead, a point at which they seemed in total command of the game. They looked to have come out of the locker room with that same fire, as they quickly went ahead 44-23 on a layup from Mason, who shot a free throw after being fouled on the play. But over the next 11 minutes, they managed only five points, and Marshall used the drought to cut a 22-point lead to six points on a jumper by Erica Woods at the nine-minute mark.

After holding the lead for over 37 minutes, the Cougars relinquished it for only the second time of the game on a jumper by Alaya Mitchell, with 1:48 left.

Mason tied the game at 59 on a strong post move with 1:29 left, as the Cougars tried to hold onto the lead that seemed to be slipping through their fingers.

But Roxana Button, the same freshman who got the Cougars off to their hot start by sinking the first basket of the game, couldn’t connect on a 3-pointer with six seconds left.

As the opposing team shot free throws to ice the game as time expired, the Cougars were left wondering where that early magic had gone.

The Cougars are tied with Tulane, UTEP and Rice for sixth place in the C-USA standings. They will next face UAB at 4 p.m. Sunday in Birmingham, Ala. before returning home to face Tulsa on Jan. 28.

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