Heartbreak in Houston: Cougars Fall Short to Oklahoma Despite Valiant Effort


Written by MAi' Ghen Storm, SFL Writer | Photo credit: Oscar Herrera, SFL Photographer

The University of Houston Women's Basketball team fought tooth and nail on Saturday evening, but ultimately fell to the Oklahoma Sooners by a score of 71-65 at the Fertitta Center.

Despite the loss, the Cougars (11-7, 2-5 Big 12) put on a determined display, led by the sharpshooting of graduate guard N'Yah Boyd, who poured in 20 points and connected on four three-pointers. The Oklahoma duo of senior forward Skylar Vann and junior guard Payton Verhulst proved too much to handle, combining for a formidable 39 points for the Sooners (11-6, 5-1 Big 12).

The Sooners started hot, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead. However, the Cougars refused to back down. Bria Patterson and Boyd responded with a pair of clutch three-pointers, igniting a rally that brought them within four points by the end of the first quarter.

The momentum continued to shift in the second period. A fastbreak layup by Maliyah Johnson gave Houston their first lead, and Shalexxus Aaron came off the bench to score five consecutive points, knotting the score at 30.

The third quarter saw a balanced scoring effort from the Cougars, with six different players finding the net. Laila Blair paced the attack with five points, while the Houston defense tightened its grip, forcing three steals and converting them into seven points.

The game remained neck-and-neck in the final stanza. Boyd caught fire again, draining two more triples and bringing the Cougars within three points. But in the end, Oklahoma held on for the narrow victory, leaving the Houston faithful heartbroken but proud of their team's fighting spirit.

This game showcased the resilience and talent of the University of Houston Women's Basketball program. While they may have fallen short this time, their determination and ability to battle against a tough opponent bode well for the remainder of the season.

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