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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Coogs defeat Georgia Tech in double-OT Thriller
Updated: November 10, 2018 -- 7:17 a.m.
Posted: November 10, 2018 -- 1:05 a.m.
HOUSTON, TX -- H&PE Arena
Friday night's double-overtime thriller between the Houston Cougars (1-0) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-1) featured just about everything. First things first, Houston won 95-89.
Now brace yourself:
Five players fouled out: 4 for Georgia Tech.
Two buzzer-beaters. Houston made both buzzer-beaters: Jasmyne Harris nailed a three-point shot to send the game into overtime. Then, Alyssa Okoene rebounded a missed shot and scored a lay-up to send the game into the second overtime.
A total of SIXTY-ONE turnovers: 41 turnovers by Georgia Tech which is a Houston opponent's record.
Twenty-six missed free throws: Georgia Tech missed 12 (8 for 20) while Houston missed 14 (19 for 33).
Houston missed 29 three-point shots.
A dunk attempt by Jasmyne Harris. Key words attempt. She missed. The ball slipped out of her hands.
And, last but not least, Jasmyne Harris scored the 1000th point in her college career. She's the 24th Houston Cougar to score 1,000 points.
Houston struggled against Georgia Tech's height in length in the first quarter. Houston made only 4 out of 22 field goal attempts in the opening 10 minutes; however, the Coogs' pressure defense resulted in 11 Georgia Tech turnovers. When the Yellow Jackets did break Houston's pressure defense, they made 8 of 11 field goal attempts.
Despite the icy shooting, the Coogs trailed by only five points (17-12) after the first quarter.
Houston forced 9 more turnovers in the second quarter while only committing three turnovers. The Coogs outscored the Yellow Jackets 24-6 in the second quarter and 36-23 at halftime.
The lead grew to 15 points early in the third quarter; but, Georgia Tech exploded with a 24-6 run in nearly 7 minutes to lead 47-44 with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Houston senior Serithia Hawkins made a three-point shot to tie the game at 47. The Coogs led 53-49 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter featured a tie at 53 and at 57 before Houston scored 4 consecutive points to lead 61-57 with 6:57 on the game clock. Georgia Tech tied the game at 61 and again at 66. Houston's Angela Harris split two free throws to put the Coogs ahead 67-66.
Georgia Tech scored 4 straight points and led 71-67 with 47 seconds remaining. Alyssa Okoene rebounded and scored after Jasmyne Harris missed a three-point shot attempt.
With 20 seconds remaining Serithia Hawkins was whistled for her fifth foul. Tech's Lotta-Maj- Lahtinen made the first foul shot but missed the second foul shot.
Houston rebounded the missed shot and called timeout with 18 seconds remaining. After the timeout, Jasmyne Harris missed a three-point shot. Georgia Tech's Kierra Fletcher grabbed the ball; but, Fletcher was called for a travel violation with 1.3 seconds on the clock.
The Coogs called timeout. After the timeout, the Coogs executed the out-of-bounds play perfectly which led to a wide open three-point shot attempt by Jasmyne Harris. Harris caught the inbounds pass and lofted a rainbow three-point shot which rolled softly through the net to beat the buzzer and tie the game at 72.
In the first overtime, Houston trailed 81-79 with 21 seconds on the clock. Without a timeout, Houston raced up the court after Tech took the lead. Once again, Jasmyne Harris launched a three-point shot; but, the shot missed. Next, teammate Dorian Branch missed a follow up shot; but, with 2 seconds on the clock, Alyssa Okoene rebounded Branch's missed and shot and banked in a lay-up to beat the buzzer, tie the game at 81, and force a second overtime.
Jaz forced the 1st OT with a rainbow 3 at the buzzer. Okoene forced the 2nd OT with a putback lay-up at the buzzer. https://t.co/FaYbiRBzP6— Kris M Gardner (@TheHRReview) November 10, 2018
The Coogs scored the first six points of the second extra session. Branch sank two-three-points for the 87-81 lead. Houston led 92-84 with 1:27 remaining; but, the Yellow Jackets made one final push with 5 straight points to cut the Coogs' lead to 3 (92-89) with 26 seconds remaining.
However, the Yellow Jackets did not get any closer than three as Houston earned the hard-fought six point victory.
After the game, Head Coach Ronald Hughey said, "When you have fight in you and you say ‘we're not going to lose, we're going to do everything we can to win’, I just can't say enough about our team, heart, character, and the trust they have with each other and the things that they built on from last summer. Going hard and being competitive at everything they do. I just can't say enough about them. I'm really proud of them right now."
Houston's next game is Wednesday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. at La Tech.
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