Sports Women's Basketball

UH women’s basketball falls late to South Florida

Junior guard Laila Blair’s 22 points were not enough as UH fell 58-56 at home to South Florida. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

The Houston women’s basketball team fell 58-56 in a tightly-contested matchup against South Florida on Wednesday at Fertitta Center.

The Cougars have now dropped each of its last two games in the American Athletic Conference after starting conference play 3-0, falling to 6-12 overall.

USF took control of the game early with a string of short runs to lead 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cougars picked up the pace in the second quarter, collecting scores down several trips and creating more scoring chances in the front court to outscore the Bulls 15-11 in the period.

Despite bouncing back before the break, UH trailed 27-23 heading into the locker rooms as junior guard Laila Blair led with 12 points while senior guard Tiara Young followed with seven points.

USF responded with a 13-2 run to strengthen its grip on the lead halfway through the third quarter, eventually outscoring UH 19-10 in the period to lead 46-33 heading into the fourth.

The Cougars’ defense was not enough to hold off the Bulls offensively as it struggled to force turnovers throughout most of the second half, making room for USF to gain a comfortable lead.

Trailing by double digits, the Cougars found a spark midway through the fourth quarter before hopping on a 16-4 run in to trail 56-54 with less than a minute to play.

After USF went a combined 2-for-4 on two separate trips to the free throw line, UH missed on its last two chances as time expired to secure the Bulls’ win.

Blair led the Cougars with 22 points while Young finished with 16 points as both scored 10 and nine in the second half respectively.

UH will now face in-state rivals SMU on the road on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

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