The Cougars (2-4) led NSU (4-2) 39-16 at the break, and Thompson was 7-7 from the field with all of her points in the paint. UH led the Lady Demons in points in the paint at the half 22-10, but finished the game only up 28-26. Thompson finished with 18 points in the game.
“Credit Houston. They came out with a lot of energy, and were excited to be playing at home,” said first year co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. “They hit a couple of shots early and we basically just got punched in the mouth.
“We didn’t compete there for a while defensively,” she said. “I was very disappointed in our first half defensive effort in giving up 39.”
The Cougar’s Landry Porsche came out hot from the start draining four 3-pointers before the seven minute mark. She finished the game with 15 points; the last three came at the free-throw line.
The leading scorer for the Lady Demons was Jasmine Bradley with 12 points. Tiandra Williams followed with 11 points and Janelle Perez and Breanna Fuller each had eight.
UH’s Te’onna Campbell set a career-high in rebounds with 12 beating her mark of nine that came earlier this season. Houston led 39-33 on the boards; it had 28 defensive rebounds and 11 offensive.
“We challenged them at half time and talked about being who we are and not being somebody we’re not,” said Stoehr. “I felt like we got away from that to start the game and a lot of it was our energy and effort, and those are things we can control.”
The first half woes stemmed from shooting only 27 percent (7-26) from the field while Houston was 17-33 for over 51 percent. The second half was much improved for the Lady Demons knocking down 13 of 29 for just under 45 percent.
NSU turned the ball over 9 times in the first, but finished the game with only 13. Houston scored 16 points off of turnovers, while Northwestern State scored four.
“We did better in the second half. We had 20 minutes to use this day to get better and to compete,” said Stoehr. “I felt like they came out in the second half, and we weren’t very good defensively in the first few possessions, but then we stepped it up and really started guarding better.
“We started executing on the offensive end, and we knew we could score against going into the game if we just executed,” she said. “I felt like our poor effort on the defensive end just got us down in the first half and just allowed us to get way from who we are defensively.”
The Lady Demons were trailing by 25 at the 12:15 mark, but went on an 11-1 run to cut it to 15 with just over eight left.
Northwestern State will end their three-game road swing Thursday when they travel to play the University of Oklahoma at 7 o’clock.