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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Sports

UH women’s basketball sneaks by Tennessee Tech


Sophomore guard Laila Blair led the way for the Cougars with 16 points Sunday afternoon at the Fertitta Center and helped propel UH into the third round of the WNIT Tournament. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Sophomore guard Laila Blair led the way for the Cougars with 16 points Sunday afternoon at the Fertitta Center and helped propel UH into the third round of the WNIT Tournament. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

The UH women’s basketball team advanced to round three of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament with a 63-55 win over Tennessee Tech at Fertitta Center on Sunday afternoon.

UH won the opening tip but quickly turned the ball over to Tennessee Tech who took advantage by draining two quick threes to jump out to a 6-0 lead. 

The Cougars finally got on the board with a two-pointer by junior guard Tiara Young to make the score 8-2 in Tennessee Tech’s favor. 

UH continued to struggle from the field, shooting just 1 for 7 on field goals at the halfway mark of the opening quarter but scoring drought finally ended after a corner three-pointer by redshirt junior guard Britney Onyeje to make the score 13-5, sparking a small run for the Cougars to close the quarter down 15-10.

Tennessee Tech got on the board first in the second quarter to increase their lead to seven points but was quickly matched on the other end by Houston.

Heightened defensive intensity in the second quarter brought the Cougars closer to Tennessee Tech and another three-pointer by Onyeje tied the game at 21-21.

The Cougars continued their run after a three-pointer by sophomore guard Laila Blair fell another two buckets from Blair gave Houston a 28-24 lead with two minutes left in the first half.

A Tennessee Tech run gave them a 29-28 lead at halftime, the Cougars were led in the first half by Blair’s 11 points.

Tennessee Tech opened the second half with a three-pointer to expand their lead to four points, but the Cougars’ defensive intensity kept them within striking distance.

UH forced five turnovers in a four-minute span during the third quarter.

In the closing seconds of the third, Blair hit a contested layup to tie the game, and the Cougars followed it up by forcing a Tennessee Tech shot clock violation as time expired and the two teams went into the fourth quarter tied at 43 a piece.

Both sides traded buckets early in the quarter but Tennessee Tech kept the lead throughout, leading 51-50 before they had yet another shot clock violation that gave the ball back to the Cougars and UH took advantage, taking a 52-51 lead after a layup by Tatyana Hill went in.

With just over three minutes left to play, the Golden Eagles took the lead back 55-54, but UH answered and held the lead once again with just over two minutes to play

The Cougars took advantage of the opportunity with a three-point play by Young that increased the UH lead to four with 1:29 left to play.

A Golden Eagles airball after following a timeout gave UH possession and forced Tech to begin fouling and the Cougars were able to close the game out and come away with the win.

UH was led by Blair’s 16 points and Hill’s 14 points. Young also grabbed an impressive 12 rebounds for the Cougars in the win.

The Cougars will continue their run in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in Round 3 against the winner of Monday’s Alabama-Tulane matchup.

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