Basketball journalist Hannah Robbins discusses the team’s 71-64 final home win of the season led by Destiny Johnson against the Houston Cougars.
In their penultimate game of the regular season, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane women’s basketball team, led by Destiny Johnson’s 23 points, surged past the Houston Cougars in the fourth quarter to snag a win on Senior’s Night. The Monday night game was the Golden Hurricane’s second win in a row, and the team fought back from a trio of tied scores to beat the Cougars against a home crowd.
The game started off slow. Tulsa and Houston traded possessions — and misses — back and forth before Addison Richards hit a jumper four minutes into the game. For the next three minutes, the only points added to the board were a pair of layups by Johnson. With three minutes left in the quarter, Houston finally got on the board with a three, but a layup and free throw by Kendrian Elliott had Tulsa up 9-3. Tulsa and Houston traded layups, and a Houston jumper was met with a three by Johnson. As the quarter drew to a close Houston hit back-to-back layups and a jumper by Houston was only met with a free throw by Elin Hrafnkelsdottir, leaving Tulsa only up by two at the end of the quarter.
The game once again took a while to get going in the second quarter. Johnson’s layup finally put points on the board three minutes in, points quickly followed by a jumper from Hrafnkelsdottir. Houston responded with a three, then, after some back and forth, a jumper. The teams were neck and neck, making layup after layup back-to-back, but Houston was unable to make a dent in Tulsa’s three-point lead until Houston put up a final three with 30 seconds left in the half to narrow Tulsa’s lead to two points.
After halftime, the teams continued on even footing, with a layup by Houston off the top tying up the game. Rebecca Lescay responded, but a three by Houston gave them the first lead of the game. The lead was quickly taken away by Elliot, and a pair of free throws from Johnson gave Tulsa momentum. Richards’s layup put the Golden Hurricane up by five, but back-to-back layups by Houston made the game competitive again. A jumper by Richards and a free throw by Johnson kept Tulsa ahead as the quarter wound down, but a pair of free throws and a jumper from Houston left the score tied 38-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Tulsa was dominant off the top of the fourth quarter, scoring six points in a row to give the team the lead. Houston hit a three, but Tulsa didn’t slow down, making a pair of free throws. Houston responded with a jumper, but Desiree Lewis responded in kind. Tulsa continued to increase their lead, sandwiching a Houston layup with two of their own, then adding a three by Morgan Brady to boot. A trio of layups by Houston shrunk their deficit, but Tulsa continued to fight, making layup after layup to keep the team on top. As the game drew to a close, a free throw by Brady and a pair of free throws by Lescay put the team up by seven to end the game.
The team had a solid showing, but it seems like they took too long to hit their stride. If the team had been playing like this all season, they would have had a chance to surge upward in the conference rankings like the men’s team did. Instead, they finish the season ranked last in the conference.