HOUSTON - University of Houston junior guard Jherrod Stiggers did a little of everything with 20 points, five rebounds, five steals and five assists but it would not be quite enough as American Athletic Conference rival UCF stunned the Cougars 79-78 inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Tuesday evening.
UCF guard Brandon Goodwin, who had hit only four 3-pointers, through the first 13 games, hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with three seconds remaining to force overtime and then hit trey with just two seconds left in the extra period to lift the Knights to the win.
The loss spoiled a valiant comeback for the Cougars, who trailed 42-30 at the halftime. Whatever first-year Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson told the team in the locker room paid off in the second half.
Houston erupted on a 21-0 run to start the second half over the first 5:09 and grabbed a 51-42 lead on a dunk from sophomore forward Danrad Knowles. During that run, the Cougars missed three of their first four shots but drained their net five attempts from the field and went 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
The Cougars (7-7, 0-3 The American) led 72-68 after Devonta Pollard converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation. Goodwin hit a jumper to pull the Knights to within 72-60 with 16 seconds left, forcing UCF to foul.
Junior guard L.J. Rose hit 1-of-2 free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give Houston a 73-70. After another Goodwin sprint down the court and layup moved UCF to within a point, Stiggers was fouled and converted both attempts with seven seconds left for a 75-72 Houston lead.
As regulation winded up, Goodwin buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to knot the game at 75 and force the Cougars' third overtime game of the 2014-15 season.
Offense was limited in the extra period with both teams combining for only one field goal in 13 tries. Houston took a 77-76 lead with 1:52 to go after Knowles hit 1-of- 2 free throw tries.
Goodwin missed a pair of free throws on UCF's ensuing possession, and Rose sank another free throw with just 21 seconds left for a 78-76 Houston lead. Working the clock down, Goodwin hit his fourth and final trey of the night with just two seconds left to give the Knights the lead for good.
With no timeouts left, Houston's desperation heave at the buzzer was off the mark.
Stiggers led the Cougars while playing all but one minute. With four 3-pointers, he became moved past 200 in his collegiate career, becoming just the fourth player in school history to hit that many treys.
Knowles finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Rose scored 15 points with a game-high seven assists and three rebounds. Playing every minute in an overtime game for the second time this season, junior guard LeRon Barnes added 12 points with seven rebounds in the loss.
Goodwin led all players with 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field and grabbed seven rebounds with five assists. Adonys Henriquez totaled 14 points, while Justin McBride added 12 points and eight assists. Kasey Wilson came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 rebounds.
Houston continues its brief homestand when it plays host to Memphis at 3 p.m., Sunday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars will have revenge on their minds after the Tigers enjoyed a 72-54 win inside FedExForum on Dec. 31.
Fans can hear Sunday's game live on KPRC 950 AM with Matt Thomas calling the action and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show begins at 2:45 p.m., Sunday.
Fans also can hear the radio broadcast online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links to Houston All-Access or by clicking here. A Houston All-Access subscription is required to listen to the game online.
Fans can watch Sunday's game live on CBS Sports Network with Carter Blackburn calling the play-by-play, Pete Gillen providing analysis and Cassie Gallo reporting from the sideline.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com or by clicking here.
BUY TICKETS NOW
Fans have a variety of tickets options to accommodate any budget. Group tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets are on sale now. For complete tickets information, fans can visit uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and follow the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office from 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.
Fans also have a choice of a pair of mini plans when choosing their ticket options. With the Conference Pack, fans can purchase tickets to each of the Cougars' nine American Athletic Conference home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion, starting at only $8 per game in the Reserved 3 section.
Fans can choose the 3-Point Pack and pick any three of the Cougars' 17 regular-season home games with prices starting as low as $9 per game in the Reserved 3 section.
Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased for as low as $9 per ticket in Reserved 3 (Section 101-102, 115-116, 126-128) for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets for only $14 per ticket in the Reserved 2 (Sections 103-104, 109-111, 117-119 and 124-125), while Reserved 3 seats (Section 105-108, 120-123) are available at $19 per ticket.
The ticket cost per person falls even more for groups of 25 or more. Group administrators are encouraged to call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office soon to secure their seats.
For a map of Hofheinz Pavilion group seating sections and prices, fans can click here. Fans can purchase group tickets online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Single-game tickets can be purchased for as low as $10 per game in the Reserved 3 section inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans can buy single-tickets in Reserved 2 for only $15 with tickets in Reserved 1 going for $20 per game.
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Men's Basketball news and notes on the team's Facebook page by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops.