|3-Point Field Goals||11-19||6-21|
DALLAS - In a game that went back and forth throughout the day, the University of Houston men's basketball team enjoyed the final word in a 70-68 win against SMU during a Conference USA showdown at Moody Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
Harris, a freshman forward from Little Rock, Ark., grabbed a couple of key offensive rebounds with less than a minute remaining and buried two free throw attempts after being fouled to lead the Cougars to the win.
Trailing 66-65 following Collin Mangrum's 3-pointer with 2:12 remaining, Houston senior guard Adam Brown gave the Cougars the lead for good with a driving jumper with 1:40 left for a 67-66 advantage.
After SMU turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, the Cougars worked the clock down and took advantage of a Darian Thibodeaux offensive rebound with 40 seconds to go to enjoy a fresh shot clock.
The Cougars worked the game clock down to 13 seconds before Brown's jumper in the lane was off the mark. Harris grabbed the missed shot, went up with a layup of his own and grabbed that miss before being fouled.
With the Cougars clinging to a 1-point lead and just seconds to go, the freshman calmly buried both free throw attempts to push the Houston lead to 69-66 with 13 seconds left. Harris finished the day 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.
SMU moved to within 69-68 when Papa Dia dunked with 5 seconds left, but the Mustangs were forced to foul senior guard Zamal Nixon on the inbounds. Nixon made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Cougars a 70-68 lead.
The Mustangs threw the ball into halfcourt before calling their final timeout with 3.5 seconds left. Paul Walker's baseline 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark, giving the Cougars their second road win of the season.
Despite being outshot in the game, the Cougars outrebounded the Mustangs 33-31 and committed only 10 turnovers. Houston also took advantage of a season-best 11 3-pointers in only 19 attempts.
Harris finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the second double-double of his young collegiate career. Brown came off the bench to pour in 22 points, while junior guard Darian Thibodeaux added a career-high 17 points, thanks to a personal best five treys.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in Conference USA games. SMU fell to 10-7 overall, 1-2 in league games.
Dia led all players with 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots, while Robert Nyakundi added 22 points, including three 3-pointers. Mangrum finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists in the losing effort.
The Cougars return home to play host to league-rival Tulsa at 6 p.m., Wednesday, at Hofheinz Pavilion. That game will be televised live on CBS College Sports with Roger Twibell calling the play-by-play action and Steve Lappas providing analysis.
Houston continues its brief homestand when it meets Conference USA-rival UTEP at 7 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Fans can hear all Cougar men's basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM KBME with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes serving as analyst.
Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans can choose from a variety of different ticket packages that best suit their needs, including the Houston Hoops 4-Pack (UTEP and UAB games) and the Pick 4 Pack (fans' choice of any four remaining home games).
Fans also can join the "H" Association barbecue on Feb. 12 and receive one reserved seat ticket to the Cougars' C-USA showdown against Tulane for only $20.
Fans have several options when ordering their men's basketball tickets. They can visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center by the UH Fan Shop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or click the Tickets tab at UHCougars.com to buy tickets today.
* With a season-high 11 3-pointers, the Cougars recorded their 290th consecutive game with at least one trey... The Cougars' topped their previous season high of eight treys against Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 23) and against TCU (Nov. 27)... Senior forward Maurice McNeil missed Saturday's game due to a violation of team rules... Sophomore forward Kendrick Washington missed his fourth consecutive game as he recovers from an infection in his elbow... Thibodeaux's five 3-pointers topped his previous career best of four against Sam Houston State on Dec. 21... Thibodeaux's 15 points surpassed his previous career high of 15 points against Northwestern Oklahoma State on Nov. 20... Brown recorded his team-leading sixth 20-point game of the season and the ninth of his career.