Sports Women's Basketball

Cougars begin season on the road with close loss

Freshman guard Alecia Smith knocked down a career high, seven 3s against Tulane. | Justin Tijerina/ The Daily Cougar

Senior guard Alecia Smith scored ten points and grabbed three rebounds in the Cougars’ opening game of the season. | File photo/The Cougar

The women’s basketball team tipped off its second season under head coach Ronald Hughey with a nail-biter, losing in heartbreaking fashion to the College of Charleston 55-48 Friday afternoon in South Carolina.

Houston led by as many as six points midway through the contest, but an explosion by the Charleston offense led to 24 points scored in the third quarter, more than what they had in the entire first half.

Houston was led offensively by freshman guard Serithia Hawkins, who had a team-high 11 points, and senior guard Alecia Smith with 10 points, three rebounds and one assist.

Houston came out strong, scoring the first four points of the game, with junior guard Kierra Graves scoring the first points of the season, en route to a 10-7 lead at the end of the first period.

Houston widened their lead to five at halftime, heading into the break up 20-15.

The Houston offense came strong out of the break putting up 14 points, but a 10-0 run by Charleston at the end of the quarter put them up 39-34 to start the fourth quarter.

Houston’s defense seemed to have no answer for Charleston junior guard Breanna Bolden, who put up 19 points going 6-17 shooting, but went 3-4 on three-pointers and was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Overall, Charleston shot 67 percent from three point range against just 24 percent for Houston.

Turnovers were the key difference as Houston gave the ball away 21 times, leading to 23 Charleston points. Houston forced 15 turnovers, but only scored 11 points in those opportunities.

Houston return to action on Thursday for the home opener, as they host Long Beach State University at Hofheinz Pavilion with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

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