LONG BEACH, CA -- After coming off a 64-53 loss to UNLV on Tuesday, the Houston Cougars Women's Basketball team took a road trip to Long Beach, California, where Long Beach State hosted them at the Walter Pyramid for their first home opener. With Long Beach State leading in its all-time series with Houston, 4-1, they opened the game with a 2-0 record for the season. Meeting for the second consecutive season, the Cougars were unsuccessful in being able to avenge Long Beach State by suffering a 65-55 loss.
Friday night's match was a solid team effort for LBSU. Coach Jody Wynn played her entire bench with each player seeing at least five minutes of action. Long Beach State had three players to score in double figures. Gigi Hascheff lead the offense with 11 points, while Madison Montgomery finished with 10 points as Cece Wilson added 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist in the contest. On the defensive end, Jewelyn Sawyer had a game-high of eight rebounds, while Jackson contributed with seven rebounds.
LBSU dominated the first half by shooting 40 percent from the field in the first quarter and 47 percent in the second quarter. Their defense proved to also be effective by limiting Houston to just 25% shooting in the first half (7-for-28). However, a break in action assisted the Cougars as they pulled away from a margin of 21 (40-19). Houston shot 42.9 percent from the field, led by five points each from Mariah Mitchell and Brianne Coffman.
The lead continued to shrink as Houston outscored the 49ers in the third, 16-12, to cut the lead to twelve (47-35) before heading into the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Mariah Mitchell with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter cut the Beach's lead to nine (52-43). Respectively, the Cougars were able to get within 60-53 on a 3-pointer by Angela Harris with 2:17 left. She led Houston (2-2) with 14 points, while Mitchell and Coffman each added eight. Junior guard Chyanne Butler finished the contest with five assists, with Serithia Hawkins coming out with five steals.
However, the momentum shifted when Cece Wilson hit back-to-back threes to slow down Houston's comeback effort by increasing the lead to 58-43. Long Beach State was able to gather its composure and come away with the victory as Houston was unable to cut the lead any closer before a crowd of 1,018.
Long Beach State will head up north to take on the University of San Francisco on Sunday before hosting Duke in the Walter Pyramid on Nov. 25. The Cougars will look to regroup as they return home for a pair of games during the Thanksgiving break. They will host Texas State for an in-state rivalry game on Wednesday and will welcome Mercer to town on Friday.