Jan. 7, 2014
HOUSTON (AP) - Brandon Morris led Houston (10-6, 2-1) with 17 points on 5 of 8 shooting from behind the arc, but the Cougars fell to Cincinnati 61-60 on Tuesday night.
Sean Kilpatrick had 17 points as the Cincinnati Bearcats withstood a Houston rally in the second half to pull out the win over the Cougars Tuesday night for their seventh straight win.
Houston hit 7 of 10 from behind the arc in the second half, shooting 47 percent for the game, but hit 9 of 18 from the free throw line, including 3 of 9 in the second half.
Jermaine Sanders added 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting, and Titus Rubles chipped in 7 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bearcats (14-2, 3-0 American), which shot 37 percent from the field and 53 percent from the free throw line.
Kilpatrick hit one of two free throws to up Cincinnati's lead to 59-54 with 51 seconds left. Stiggers was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining, but hit just one of three free throws.
Justin Jackson missed both free throws for Cincinnati, and Thomas grabbed the rebound and his basket cut the lead to 59-57 with 12 seconds remaining.
Kevin Johnson hit two free throws with 11 seconds to go to push the lead back to four.
After the Cougars had cut Cincinnati's lead to three with just under 10 minutes remaining, the Bearcats held Houston scoreless for the next 8:02, using an 8-0 run to push its lead to 58-47 on a Tony Caupain layup with 3:19 left.
Danrad Knowles ended the drought with a tip-in with 1:54 remaining, starting a 7-0 run, capped by a Stiggers 3-pointer with 53 seconds left to cut Houston's deficit to four.
Cincinnati opened the second half with the first three points to push its lead up to 19 points, but Houston responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 43-33 on a Knowles jumper with 15:38 left in the game, prompting a Bearcats timeout.
After Cincinnati pushed the lead to 48-36 on a Sanders' 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining, Houston answered again, this time with an 11-2 run to close within three on consecutive 3-pointers by Morris with 9:56 remaining.
Cincinnati used an 11-2 run over a five-minute stretch of the first half to open up a 26-13 lead with 7:24 left in the first half on two Titus Robles free throws.
Houston responded, closed the lead to 26-20, but the Bearcats ended the half on a 14-4 run to open up a 40-24 halftime advantage.
Following Tuesday's game, the Cougars will take a break from its schedule before meeting No. 12/8 Louisville at 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. (EST) Jan. 16, inside KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Ky.
From there, the team returns to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Rutgers at noon, Jan. 19.
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Cincinnati extended its winning streak against the Cougars to 11 games. The streak dates back to a 90-85 Cougar win on Feb. 2, 1973.
The 61-60 victory pushed Cincinnati to 23-1 in the all-time series.
With his 17 points, senior guard Brandon Morris tied a career high. Morris previously achieved the mark earlier this season against San Jose State on Dec. 7. Morris also set career highs in 3-point field goals made (5) and attempted (8).
With his 10 points, junior forward TaShawn Thomas registered his 63rd career double-figure scoring game. Thomas now has double-figures in all 16 games this season, and 23 straight dating back to the Marshall game on March 2, 2013.
Junior forward TaShawn Thomas started the 79th consecutive game of his collegiate career. Thomas has started every game as a Cougar.
Houston held Cincinnati standout forward Justin Jackson to just seven points and five rebounds in a night where he only saw 21 minutes of action. Jackson came into the game averaging 11.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.