HOUSTON, Texas (November 2, 2013) – Lubbock Christian proved that size, league and statistics do not always predict outcomes, as the Lady Chaps ousted Division I University of Houston, 80-73, in an exhibition contest at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Nicole Hampton had a stellar game, recording 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, Kelsey Hoppel tallied a team-high 21 points, and Emily Pool notched 14 points.
Despite Houston's lineup standing inches above LCU, the Lady Chaps outhustled the Cougars to snare eight more rebounds on the afternoon, 51-43. The Lady Chaps hit 41 percent of their shots compared to 29 percent from the Cougars, taking 24 fewer shots than UH but committing 13 more turnovers. The Lady Chaps connected on 11 three-pointers at a 30 percent clip compared to six made by the Cougars at 22 percent.
Hampton hit a jumper two minutes into the second stanza to break a 40-40 halftime score and give LCU its first lead of the game, one that would not be relinquished throughout the remainder of the contest. A three pointer by Hoppel at the 12:36 mark gave the Lady Chaps a seven point cushion before Houston's Destini Texada nailed one of her own to cut the margin to 53-49. Sixty seconds later, Kaycie Boyles drilled one from long range to again put the Lady Chaps up seven. Two Cougar free throws and a trey by Demetria Forman sliced LCU's lead to 56-54, but Hoppel stuck a three to put the Lady Chaps up five. A big three by Pool put LCU on top, 65-59, but she was whistled for her fifth foul one minute later to further diminish the little size the Lady Chaps had remaining after Boyles fouled out minutes earlier. At the 6:05 mark, two points from Haley Fowler at the charity stripe provided LCU with its largest lead of the game at eight, 67-59. A 5-0 run pulled the Cougars to within 67-64 before Blair Taylor extended LCU's advantage back to five at 69-64.
With three minutes remaining, Houston's Alecia Smith hit two freebies to close the gap to just one point, but on the other end Fowler rebounded her own miss for a putback and a three point lead. Back-to-back jumpers by Haley Burton and Taylor extended the Lady Chap lead to 75-68 with just over a minute and-a-half left to play. A layup by Yasmeen Thompson cut the deficit to five, and a Hoppel three-pointer was off the mark, but Taylor was there to grab the offensive board that led to two Hoppel free throws for a 77-70 lead with 39 seconds left on the clock. A heave from UH's Jessieka Palmer put three points on the board to trim LCU's to 78-73 at the 25 second mark, but a free throw each by Hoppel and Hampton sealed the win for the Lady Chaps.
The early stages of the game did not set the tone for the result with Houston racing out to a 10-3 lead behind a jumper, two three-pointers and a pair of free throws. A layup by Fowler and jumper by Pool put the Lady Chaps in contention at 10-7, but UH extended the lead to 16-9 on two free throws by Thompson. Hampton dropped in a trey before Thompson connected on a layup to put the Cougars up 18-12. Both teams went scoreless for over two minutes until Hampton added two from the line to cut UH's lead to four at 18-14.
A tip-in by Palmer put the Cougars up 26-18, but LCU answered with a 7-0 run, capped by an and one from Burton. Houston went off on their own tear, hitting five shots and a free throw to take their biggest lead of the game, 37-27. A three by Hampton and layup by Burton cut the lead to 37-32, and a trifecta by Pool and two free throws by Hampton pulled the Lady Chaps to within three with 34 seconds to play in the first half. With five ticks left on the clock, Boyles reeled in an offensive board and found an open Pool at the top of the key for a game-tying three at the buzzer.
Thompson scored a game-high 24 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 at the line, to go along with 10 rebounds. Marche' Amerson had 16 points for the Cougars and Palmer added 11.
The Lady Chaps take their turn in hosting an exhibition game on November 7 at 7 p.m. in The Rip Griffin Center. The regular season kicks off at home against Eastern New Mexico on November 12 at 8:30 p.m. following the LCU volleyball against West Texas A&M.