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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Sports

UH women’s basketball drops both games in St. Pete’s Showcase


UH women's basketball fell to Portland and Florida over the Thanksgiving holiday. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

UH women’s basketball fell to Portland and Florida over the Thanksgiving holiday. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

UH women’s basketball went 0-2 at the the St. Pete’s Showcase to fall to 1-5 on the season.

In game one of the St. Pete Showcase on Thanksgiving Day, a late push by Portland powered the Pilots past UH 66-60, dropping the Cougars to 1-4 on the season. 

A commanding first half gave the Cougars a 31-22 halftime lead. UH was unable to close out the game, however, getting out scored 23-10 in the fourth quarter . 

Senior guard Tiara Young led the team in scoring off the bench, shooting 10-for-14 and scoring 20 points. Junior guard Laila Blair was the only other Cougar to reach double digits, scoring 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting. 

UH suffered its fifth loss of the season on Saturday as the Cougars couldn’t close out Florida, falling 77-73 in overtime in the final game of the St. Petersburg Showcase.

After a sloppy start, Blair sparked a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer as the Cougars took a 13-4 lead halfway through the first quarter.

UH was be held scoreless in the final three minutes of the quarter and lost the lead as Florida guard Kirsten Deans scored nine straight points to put the Gators up 17-15 at the end of the quarter.

The teams went back and forth to start the second quarter as the lead would change hands four times in the first two and a half minutes before Young hit a long jumper to put UH up 25-24 going into the media timeout halfway through the frame.

That Young basket would jumpstart an 8-0 run from the Cougars. UH entered the half with a 31-27 lead with Young leading the way in scoring with 9 points.

A wild final minute to the third quarter that featured five lead changes ended with three Florida free throws that put the Gators on top 47-46 going into the fourth quarter.

Blair and Young teamed up to score eight of the Cougars’ first 10 points in the fourth quarter as UH took a 56-52 lead with six minutes left to play.

The Cougars’ backcourt would contribute big buckets down the stretch, but Florida’s Leilani Correa hit a 3 to tie it at 65 with 36 seconds left.

Young then made a huge layup plus a foul to put the Cougars up 68-65 with 23 seconds left, but Correa would respond with a 3-point-play of her own to tie it again with 12 seconds on the clock. 

Neither team could score to start overtime until two Florida free throws finally ended the drought almost two minutes in before Blair and senior guard Britney Onyeje each hit big time jumpers to give UH the lead 73-70 with two minutes left.

A layup by the Gators to cut the lead and then four free throws in the final minute put time up 76-73 with 45 seconds to go. 

UH was unable to tie it up in the final seconds, dropping to 1-5 on the season.

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