HOUSTON - University of Houston junior guard Jherrod Stiggers posted a team-high 18 points, and junior point guard L.J. Rose led an offense that set a school record with only one turnover as the Cougars claimed a 70-68 win over defending national champion UConn inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
It was the second straight season that the Cougars enjoyed a win over the Huskies in Houston. A year ago, Houston posted a 75-71 victory on New Year's Eve inside Hofheinz Pavilion in the inaugural American Athletic Conference game for both programs.
The Cougars never trailed against the Huskies in taking their second home win of the week. Houston enjoyed a 59-48 victory against crosstown rival Rice on Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Houston built as much as a 15-point lead midway through the second half before the Huskies rallied to move to within three on two occasions late. However, the Cougars had an answer each time UConn surged.
UConn moved to within 64-61 when Ryan Boatright sank a 3-pointer with 1:08 left. Working the game and shot clocks down to almost the very end, Rose drove the lane and put it up and in for a 66-61 lead with just 27 seconds left.
After a missed UConn shot and a pair of missed Houston free throws, Boatright hit 2-of-3 free throw attempts with 10 seconds left to pull the Huskies back to within 66-63. With UConn forced to foul after the inbounds pass, Rose stepped to the free throw line and calmly sank both tries for a 68-63 lead with nine seconds left.
Boatright, who scored 26 of his game-high 31 points in the final 7:51, raced the length of the court and banked in a layup with four seconds left, and Stiggers converted both of his free throw tries with just four seconds left to ice the win for the Cougars.
Boatright buried his fifth and final 3-pointer of the night at the buzzer for the final margin of victory.
Neither team shot the ball well as UConn hit 39.1 percent and Houston converting 36.9 percent with the Huskies outrebounding Houston 51-35. However, it was stellar ball-handling by the Cougars under Rose' on-court leadership that led the way.
Houston turned 12 UConn giveaways into 11 points, but the Huskies only had sophomore forward Danrad Knowles' giveaway at the 9:37 mark of the second half to take advantage of.
Sunday's turnover total was the lowest single-game tally in Houston history, topping the two giveaways against Grambling State on Nov. 24, 2007.
Stiggers finished with 18 points, thanks to three 3-pointers and grabbed four rebounds with four assists. The Terrell, Texas, native is now only 46 points away from becoming the 45th 1,000-point scorer in Houston career history.
Rose totaled 12 points with four rebounds, two steals and a game-high five assists without a turnover in 37 minutes. Junior forward Devonta Pollard added 12 points with five rebounds and three assists, while junior guard LeRon Barnes posted 12 points with five rebounds and three assists.
UConn center Amida Brimah was the only Husky besides Boatright to reach double-digit points, scoring 11 with nine rebounds. Daniel Hamilton added seven points with a game-high 14 rebounds in the loss.
Houston: The Cougars lead all American Athletic schools in 3-pointers per game with 8.4 and finished 8 of 34 (23.5 percent). ... Houston registered its first conference win and has won back-to-back games, beating non-conference opponent Rice on Wednesday to stop an 8-game losing streak.
UConn: With the loss, the Huskies dropped two road games this week, falling in Cincinnati on Thursday. UConn leads the all-time series 3-2. ... Boatright's five 3-pointers matched a career-high, as did his 11 attempts, which were both established in the loss to Cincinnati.
The Cougars continue their four-game homestand when they meet current league leader Tulsa at 6 p.m., Thursday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans should note the earlier-than-usual starting time to accommodate the ESPNews broadcast.
Fans can hear Thursday'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 5:45 p.m., Thursday.
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 Thursday's game live on ESPNews. Fans also can watch the game online by visiting WatchESPN.com and following the appropriate links.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com or by clicking here.
Following Thursday's game, the Cougars wrap up their homestand inside Hofheinz Pavilion against SMU on Feb. 12.
BUY TICKETS NOW
Fans have a variety of tickets options to accommodate any budget. Group tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets also 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.
Season ticket packages start for as low as $99 in the Reserved 3 section for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Memorial Hermann Family Plan, which includes two adult and two kids' season tickets, can be purchased for only $399 in the Reserved 2 section for the entire regular-season home schedule.
Fans can purchase season tickets online by visiting uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here. To view a map of Hofheinz Pavilion with season ticket pricing, fans can click here.
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.