Sports Women's Basketball

UH women’s basketball eliminated in AAC semifinal by USF

Sophomore guard Laila Blair finished the game with 25 points for her third straight 20+ point game of the AAC Tournament. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

The UH women’s basketball tournament run came to an end after a 58-50 loss against second-seed South Florida in the American Athletic Conference Championship semifinals.

The first quarter started with a shootout from behind the arc between both teams, but then quickly shifted into a struggle to find more offense for the remainder of the period.

The Bulls led at the end of the first with a score of 15-10 after going 9-9 from the free-throw line.

The Cougars kept it close but shot a cold 28 percent from the field.

In the second quarter, UH kept up with USF and cut the deficit to a one-point game at 19-18.

The Bulls countered with a 6-0 to grow their lead to 25-18 as UH entered a four-minute scoring drought.

Rowdy and active defense at both ends of the court normalized long-scoring droughts throughout the first half for both teams.

However, the Bulls held a 32-24 lead at the half despite the struggles.

Sophomore Guard Laila Blair led UH with 13 first-half points while the Bulls were led by junior guard Sydney Harvey and junior guard Elisa Pizan with ten points and eight points apiece. 

The Cougars couldn’t find a rhythm in the first half as the UH offense shot 30 percent from the field.

The third quarter started with the Bulls extending their lead to double-digits at 37-24 after another 5-0 run. 

The Bulls’ stout defensive efforts denied the Cougars any offense and suffocated their play throughout much of the third quarter.

USF ended the quarter with a 45-32 lead as it limited the UH women’s basketball team to eight points in the period.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars pushed late to cut the deficit to 53-43 with three minutes to go.

Despite last-ditch efforts to salvage its season, UH fell short as time expired on the game and the conference tournament run.

Blair led UH with her third straight 20+ point game in the tournament with 25 points.

The Bulls shot 90 percent from the free-throw line, going 20-for-22 in the game. 

Senior forward Bethy Mununga would also tie her own record with a game-high 18 rebounds vs UH.

The Cougars now wait to see if their team is selected to go to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.

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