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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Sports

Dominant second quarter powers UH women’s basketball past Tulsa


Laila Blair's 23 points helped power the UH women's basketball team past Tulsa. | Esther Umoh/The Cougar

Laila Blair’s 23 points helped power the UH women’s basketball team past Tulsa. | Esther Umoh/The Cougar

The Houston women’s basketball team put on a dominant display in its first big test of conference play as it knocked off Tulsa 80-67 at Fertitta Center on Saturday.

The victory extends the Cougars’ winning streak to six games while handing Tulsa only its second loss of the season.

UH tipped off the game with an early 4-0 followed by multiple series of exchanged free throws before the Cougars led 9-6 at the first timeout of the game.

Tulsa blew the game open with the first big momentum swing as it rode a 10-0 run before UH responded with a 5-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to 16-14 to end the first quarter.

The second quarter proved to be one of the Cougars’ best quarters of the season, sparked by two quick 3-pointers to extend the first-quarter run to 11-0 as the Cougars regained the lead by four.

Excellent defensive displays held both teams to limited scoring near the midway point of the second quarter at 26-23, yet the Cougars would break through again on a 12-0 run as they extended the lead to 38-23.

A strong close to the first half by the Cougars saw them lead 47-25 at halftime with sophomore guard Laila Blair leading in scoring with 14 points.

The Cougars outscored the Hurricane 33-9 in the second quarter and outrebounded them 25-9 in the first half.

To open the second half, all momentum going in the Cougars’ direction had stalled as both teams scored a combined 12 points by the midway point of the third quarter.

Nearing the end of the third quarter, Tulsa found some momentum and went on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits before a last-second layup by junior guard Britney Onyeje ended the run and preserved the lead at 54-43 heading into the fourth quarter.

Tulsa outscored UH 18-7 in the third quarter as it pushed to continue closing the deficit in the fourth quarter.

Both teams continued to battle on the court early in the fourth quarter, but the dominance on display by the Cougars in the second quarter dug the Hurricanes in too deep of a hole to crawl out of.

Tulsa made several efforts to come back in the game but the Cougars were too much and held on to win its second conference game of the season. 

Blair finished the game with 23 points for her fourth 20+ point game of the season, while also posting seven rebounds and three assists.

Three other Cougars recorded 10 or more points on the night.

Junior guard Tiara Young finished the game with a team-high nine rebounds and 14 points.

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