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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sports

UH women’s basketball opens season with win over OU


Junior guard Dymond Gladney looks to dish the ball to a teammate in the UH women's basketball team season opener against Oklahoma. | Courtesy of OU athletics

Junior guard Dymond Gladney looks to dish the ball to a teammate in the UH women’s basketball team season opener against Oklahoma. | Courtesy of OU athletics

The UH women’s basketball team opened up its 2020-21 season with an offensive explosion, beating Oklahoma 97-85 on the road Wednesday afternoon.

After the game, UH head coach Ronald Hughey emphasized how big it was to open up the season with a win, especially a road win since the Cougars struggled greatly on the road last season.

“A win is really good cause it’s hard to win NCAA Division I college games,” Hughey said after the game. “But to do that going on the road to a Big 12 opponent and win by more than 10 points. It’s hard, and I was really just proud of them for sticking together, trusting, protecting and empowering each other just to be able to get through it.”

Redshirt sophomore guard Britney Onyeje led the Cougars offensively with a team-high 23 points in her collegiate debut.

Onyeje shot lights out from 3-point range, knocking down five shots from deep, to help her break out offensively.

While Onyeje had confidence on the court, she was extremely anxious before the game since this marked her first ever college basketball game she was eligible to play in.

But her teammates helped her calm down and Onyeje credits her teammates for her strong performance against Oklahoma.

“Just for them to lift me up the whole time, keep talking to me, keep encouraging me, it made my nerves go away,” Onyeje said. “I was just so blessed and honored to finally be able to play cause it’s been a long two years. Today was amazing and I just thank my teammates for that.”

Senior guard Julia Blackshell-Fair also had a big game for Houston, scoring 16 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

“It just felt great,” Blackshell-Fair said postgame. “… (I was) just excited. And even more excited we came out with the win for the first game.”

Junior guard Dymond Gladney did a little bit of everything for the Cougars, tallying 13 points, seven assists, and five steals.

Freshman Laila Blair also scored double-digits in her collegiate debut, finishing with 13 points.

Overall, the Cougars, who are loaded with depth this season after having a very limited bench all of last season, played a total of 13 players.

“We wanted to give almost everybody an opportunity to get out there and play today because again that depth is tremendous for us and we want to keep developing that as the season goes on,” Hughey said.

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