Jan. 19, 2013
HOUSTON - University of Houston freshman forward Danuel House led five Cougars in double digits, but it would not be enough as UCF escaped with a 79-75 overtime win overtime during a Conference USA showdown in Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday evening.
House, a Sugar Land, Texas, native and product of Hightower High, scored a team-high 15 points with 11 rebounds and added six assists for the first double-double of his career. Sophomore guard Joseph Young added 14 points, while senior forward Leon Gibson finished with 12 points, including the team's first seven to start the game. Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas posted 11 points and 13 rebounds for his team-leading seventh double-double of the season, while redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers came off the bench to pour in 11 points.
In a game that featured plenty of drama late in regulation, the Knights scored seven points in the extra period to even the Cougars' record at 1-1 in overtime contests this season.
The Cougars grabbed a 72-68 lead with 2:33 remaining when Young buried a jumper. The Knights moved to within 72-70 on a Keith Clanton layup and, following a Houston turnover, knotted the game at 72-72 when Isaiah Sykes drained a pair of free throws with 1:27 left.
After a Houston giveaway, the Knights worked the shot clock down and took a pair of 3-point attempts, but both shots were off the mark. Thomas grabbed the defensive board to give the Cougars the ball with the shot clock off and the game still tied at 72-72.
Unfortunately, the Cougars were called for a turnover on the sidelines, giving UCF the ball back and a chance to win with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation. The Knights seemed to take a 75-72 when Tristan Spurlock rattled in a 3-pointer as the horn sounded.
However, officials took several minutes to review the shot and finally ruled that the shot left Spurlock's hand after time expired.
The Cougars took the momentum into overtime but were unable to put points on the scoreboard early. UCF's Calvin Newell gave the Knights the lead almost halfway into overtime with a jumper at the 2:54 mark, and Spurlock buried another jumper for a 76-72 lead with just more than two minutes remaining.
Houston scored its only points of the extra period and moved to within 76-75 when Stiggers drained a 3-pointer with just less than a minute to go. However, that would be the final points Houston would score.
Sykes tipped in his own missed shot on the ensuing possession for a 78-75 UCF lead. The Cougars had one last chance when Clanton missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but House's would-be game-tying 3-pointer from the top of the key with just 4 seconds remaining was off the mark.
Spurlock hit the first of two free throws after being fouled on the ensuing rebound for the final margin of victory.
With the loss, the Cougars dropped their third straight game and fell to 12-5 overall and 1-3 in C-USA play. UCF improved to 12-5 overall and 2-1 in league action.
Sykes led all players with 22 points and tied with Spurlock for the team lead with nine rebounds. Clanton added 19 points, while Newell finished with 15 points. Kasey Wilson came off the bench to post 11 points, thanks to three 3-pointers.
Houston drops to 8-6 in the all-time series against UCF.
With 11 points and 13 rebounds, sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas posted the 16th double-double of his career... Was his first double-double since posting 15 points and 13 rebounds against Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 15.
Freshman forward Danuel House played a career-high 41 minutes, topping his old mark of 39 against SMU on Jan. 9.
Junior forward J.J. Richardson posted a career-high eight points on 4-of-6 shooting... Topped his previous Houston high of four points at East Carolina on Wednesday... Was only one point away from equaling his collegiate high of 9, set at West Virginia on Feb. 3, 2010, as a member Pittsburgh's team.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars continue their three-game homestand when they play host to UAB at 7 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The stand wraps up at 5 p.m., Jan. 25, when Houston squares off against UAB.
Single-game tickets for all remaining home games and a variety of ticket packs to suit any budget are on sale now. To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by online at UHCougars.com.
Fans can buy tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by clicking the red and white Tickets tab at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GOUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information or click here.