Around the American Women’s Basketball: Houston highlights eventful week

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Connecticut’s Katie Lou Samuelson, left, grabs a rebound over Memphis’ Ashia Jones, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

While the Huskies may be 13-0 in conference and cruising their way to yet another American Athletic Conference championship, the rest of the conference is much more competitive.

It was an eventful week that featured many close games between the conference’s (other) top teams. Take a look at how some of the best ones of the week went down.

Houston 83, Tulane 82

The most exciting game of the week came on Wednesday, when the Houston Cougars just beat out the Tulane Green Wave in overtime. Houston did go up by 11 points just under two minutes into the fourth quarter, but by the time the clock hit the one-minute mark their lead was whittled down to just one. After going down by two points with just seconds left, Junior Angela Harris made up for her terrible shooting day by draining a two-point jumper with almost no time left on the clock to send it to overtime.

The Cougars went down by one point briefly just over a minute into overtime. However, they proceed to go on a 6-0 run and did just enough over the final 1:30 to grab the win. Senior Octavia Barnes led the team with 24 points on 8-14 shooting including going 6-9 from behind the arc, and junior Dorian Branch was right behind her with 20 points. Tulane’s Krystal Freeman led all scorers with 27 points on 11-17 shooting, however she was just one of only two players on the Green Wave who broke double digits compared to four players on Houston.

Houston 59, Memphis 57

That was not the only close game that the Cougars played in this week, as they successfully executed a major comeback against the Memphis just four days later. It was almost like they were back in the Tulane game, only this time they were the ones down 11 points. The Tigers had a huge (relative to the game) 22-point second quarter, but thanks to a 25-point second half, the Cougars managed to claw their way back and take their first lead since the first quarter just over two minutes into the fourth.

After some back and forth, the Cougars took advantage of a Memphis foul in a tie game with under ten seconds left in the game to go up by one. After getting the offensive rebound off a missed free throw forcing another foul, they extended the lead to two and played lockdown defense in the final seconds to win their fourth straight game.

SMU 53, Temple 52

While the Houston-Tulane game may have been the most exciting, this game was easily the wildest. SMU was in charge for the entire first half, held a double-digit lead since the end of the first quarter, and even were up by 19 points early in the third. However, thanks to a 34-4 Temple run, the Mustangs found themselves down by 10 points with 2:33 left on the clock.

Then came the Temple collapse. With time at a premium, the Mustangs remembered how to play offense and went on their own 10-0 run to tie the game with just 16 seconds left in the game. SMU would commit a foul with 12 seconds left, allowing Temple to take a one-point lead. Then, the Mustangs drove down the court, taking their own one-point lead on a Ariana Whitfield layup, one that was only her second bucket of the game, before forcing a turnover on the Owls final scoring chance to narrowly avoid a monumental collapse.


Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.

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