Mariah Turner had a double-double and two others scored in double figures to lead Tulsa to a 67-51 win over Houston on Saturday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Texas. TU moved to 12-10 on the season and 7-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while UH fell to 6-17 overall and 1-11 in the league.
“We just want to win, I am not sure if we ever follow a game plan,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “We went to Mariah early and that was a plan. We wanted to get layups and attack the basket. She was really solid inside from a scoring and a rebounding standpoint. Ashley Clark was taking it to the hole a lot and she almost finished with a double-double too. Teanna didn't score points, but she got a lot of touches. It was a huge team effort.”
“We just keep improving,” Mossman added. “We've definitely gotten better defensively, we've gotten better from a rebounding standpoint and our offensive continues to be solid. It goes back to a renewed focus on the defensive end and getting stops.”
Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Ashley Clark tallied a game-best 18 points, nine rebounds (all defensive) and three assists. Kadan Brady added 12 points and Teanna Reid posted a team-leading four steals.
Tulsa shot 45-percent from the field, just 18-percent from behind the arc (2-of-11) and was 70-percent from the charity stripe.
The Golden Hurricane had a 42-29 lead in rebounds, allowing just eight offensive boards by the Cougars. TU also had a 12-9 lead in steals and a 12-10 advantage in assists, while UH had a 3-2 lead in blocks.
Houston was led by Alecia Smith who had 14 points, including four treys, while Bianca Winslow tallied 11 points and Marche' Amerson posted 10 points.
The Cougars shot 32-percent from the field, 31-percent from three-point range and 72-percent from the free throw line.
Turner and Clark each had a basket for the Golden Hurricane to start the second half and then Tyler Gilbert hit a jumper at the 17:51 mark for a 36-23 lead by Tulsa. The Cougars would miss their next 11 shot attempts, but hit four free throws, that spanned from 16:29 to 9:54 off the clock and TU climbed to a 51-27 lead.
Houston hit four of their next seven shots, including two three-pointers, but then went cold again missing their next six shots when Smith hit another three-point basket to make the score 57-40 with 4:31 left to play. TU had an 8-2 run to make the scored 65-42 at the 2:44 mark, but Houston closed out the contest on a 9-2 run for the final 67-51 score.
The score was tied at 2-2 and 4-4 before Tulsa jumped out to a 10-6 lead, but the Cougars outscored TU, 7-2, to take a 13-12 advantage at the 8:57 mark. Clark scored on a layup about a minute later to give the Golden Hurricane back the advantage and it sparked a 15-4 run that spanned until the 1:59 mark to give Tulsa a 28-16 lead. Winslow hit a jumper and three-pointer to make the score 28-21, but Turner and Clark each hit another basket before the end of the half. TU took a 32-21 lead into the break.
Turner had a game-best 12 points at the half, while Clark had eight, and both players had five rebounds.
Tulsa will return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 10 against Temple. Game time is set for 7:00 pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.