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Monday, November 29, 2021

Sports

UH women’s basketball rolls past Howard in season-opener


UH guard Julia Blackshell-Fair returned to live game action for time since Jan. 20, 2020, when she tore her ACL, in the Cougars season-opening win against Howard. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

UH guard Julia Blackshell-Fair returned to live game action for time since Jan. 20, 2020, when she tore her ACL, in the Cougars season-opening win against Howard. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

The Houston women’s basketball team opened its season Tuesday afternoon at Fertitta Center, storming past Howard in an 80-48 win.

“Confidence-wise, it’s tremendous for us,”said head coach Ronald Hughey said on starting the season off 1-0. “That confidence is starting to build.”

Right out of the gates, Howard fired a 3-pointer to start the game.

Graduate student guard Julia Blackshell-Fair responded with a steal, followed by a finish from senior forward Tatyana Hill, who grabbed eight rebounds in the season-opener.

UH took advantage of two missed free throws by the Bison, as junior guard Britney Onyeje, who tallied 10 points, added a three to lead 11-9.

While the Cougars outperformed the Bison on the free throw line, going 15 for 23 on the afternoon, the numbers were not up to standard.

“The thing that is going to come back to bite us is our free throw shooting,” Hughey said.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore guard Laila Blair created momentum for UH, as senior guard Dymond Gladney, who led with 13 points, drained two of her own.

UH shot 9-24 from behind the arc in the game.

“We want to try to be 10-30. If we are around 10-30, we’re going to win a lot of games,” Hughey said.

The Bison fought back, going three-for-three from the field near the end of the first quarter to trail 24-18.

Howard struck first in the second quarter, cutting the Cougars’ lead to just four.

Blair found sophomore forward Kamryn Jones for an easy layup to get UH back in rhythm. Soon after, Gladney sank another three.

A strong effort from Hill led to a put-back layup to give the Cougars the 31-21 edge.

From there, UH dominated the court on both sides.

The Cougars relied on steals to control the pace of the game.

“That’s tremendous, that’s what we practice,” Hughey said. “Get the steal, go down and finish, we’re trying to make a play on the other end.”

Shots continued to fall for UH as the Cougars headed into the second half up 42-24.

In the second half, UH would not let up as Howard struggled to generate any offense.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Cougars led 60-31.

All were involved, as everyone on the roster played. UH’s bench accounted for 40 points.

The Cougars’ team effort led UH’s to a 32-point victory.

“We want to put them into the action, so they can be able to see it,” Hughey said. “Now they can start to capitalize off of things, and not make the same mistakes again.”

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