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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Women's Basketball

Cougars’ comeback collapses against Hurricane


Junior guard Alecia Smith led the Cougars’ offense with 14 points and four assists in Saturday’s 67-51 loss to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. | Quinton Huebner/The Cougar

Following a rough road trip featuring a heartbreaking overtime loss to Cincinnati, the Cougars returned home Saturday for a tough game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

The Cougars (6-17, 1-11) had a tough game, getting down by as many as 24 before rallying back to a 51-67 loss to Tulsa (12-10, 7-4).

Head coach Ronald Hughey was unimpressed by the effort of the team coming off the strong road trip.

“I think we made some adjustments from being on the road and playing a great game against Cincinnati and losing by three,” Hughey said.

“Coming in here today, we expected to get this win, and to not get the total effort and accountability from everyone on the court was disappointing.”

The Hurricane came out of the break on a hot steak, outscoring the Cougars 13-2 in the first seven minutes of the second half, building up a 20-point lead that would never fully be relinquished.

Despite three Cougars scoring in double figures with junior guards Alecia Smith and Bianca Winslow and junior forward Marche’ Amerson, the team struggled offensively, shooting only 32.7 percent from the field.

“We didn’t want to be aggressive, we didn’t want to drive into the lane and we didn’t want to create opportunities for our teammates,” Hughey said. “We wanted to play one on-one basketball instead of team basketball.”

Hofheinz was fired up a little extra, however, as Houston hosted Dads & Daughters Date Day on Saturday afternoon.

“One thing I do want to say is I was happy to see as many fans as we had today for Dads & Daughters Date Day,” Hughey said. “I have great appreciation for that; it’s always a great cause.

Hughey said he walked away from Saturday’s loss with a chip on his shoulder, feeling he and the Cougars had done a disservice to the increased number of fans.

“I just wish we would have played a better game, and I wanted to give back something to the fans,” Hughey said. “And I promise (that) next time, we will.”

The Cougars will host the Memphis Tigers on Wednesday to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff at Hofheinz Pavilion.

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