HOUSTON - Aundra Williams' layup with 11 seconds remaining lifted Marshall to a 63-62 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Tuesday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Trailing 61-57 with three minutes to go, the Cougars scored five unanswered points - all from the free throw line - and claimed a 62-61 advantage when freshman forward Alandise Harris connected on 1-of-2 attempts with 78 seconds to play.
The two teams traded missed 3-pointers, before Marshall grabbed the rebound and called a timeout to set up a play with 18 ticks remaining. After Harris blocked a DeAndre Kane layup, the ball bounced toward the end line. Trying to snare the loose ball, Cougar senior guard Adam Brown flipped the ball back into play but unfortunately into the hands of Williams, who laid the ball up and in for the final points of the game.
The Cougars had a chance late and quickly brought the ball up the court after Williams' basket. However, the Herd forced a Houston giveaway, and the Cougars were forced to foul. Damier Pitts missed his first attempt from the line and intentionally missed his second.
The Cougars rebounded the final miss and called timeout with 0.9 seconds left to set up a desperation play. Harris inbounded the ball deep into Marshall's court, but senior forward Maurice McNeil's catch-and-shoot attempt bounced off the rim to end the game.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 11-10 overall, 3-5 in C-USA games. Marshall improved to 15-7 overall and 3-4 in league games.
Harris finished with 16 points and went 12-for-20 from the free throw line, becoming only the sixth player in school history to attempt that many free throws in a game. McNeil tied for team-high honors with 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Kane led all players with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Pitts added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Tirrell Baines added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Herd.
The Cougars hit the road again to face Tulsa at 7:05 p.m., Saturday, at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Cougars enjoyed a 64-57 win against the Golden Hurricane on Jan. 15 inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team returns to Hofheinz Pavilion for a brief, two-game homestand. The home swing begins at 4 p.m., Feb. 12, when the Cougars meet Tulane and continues at 7 p.m., Feb. 16 when the team squares off against SMU.
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.
Four regular-season home games remain on the schedule, and 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 Pick 4 Pack (remaining home games).
Fans 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 also can purchase the Houston Hoops 4-Pack for the UAB (Feb. 26) game at Hofheinz Pavilion. For only $48, fans can receive 4 general admission tickets, 4 small drinks, 4 hot dogs and 4 hats (selected styles) from the UH Fan Shop.
If more than four tickets are needed, each additional ticket purchased will cost only $12 each and will receive the extra items.
The Houston Hoops 4-Pack will not be available on game days at the Hofheinz Pavilion ticket windows.
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.
* The Cougars fell for the first time to Marshall in Houston, ending a three-game winning streak against the Herd.
* Freshman forward Alandise Harris joined Lyle Harger, Don Boldebuck, Dominic Smith, George Walker and Ollie Taylor as the only players in school history to attempt 20 free throws in a game.
* Sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke returned to the Houston lineup after sitting out the East Carolina game on Saturday.