Feb. 05, 2014
HOUSTON (AP) - No. 14/10 Louisville jumped out to a 19-point halftime lead and held off a furious comeback to take a 77-62 win against the University of Houston Men's Basketball team inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Wednesday night.
On a night in which legendary head coach Guy V. Lewis was honored for his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 7,247 fans poured into the arena to pay homage to the coaching great.
It was the largest crowd to watch the Cougars in Hofheinz Pavilion since 8,918 attended Houston's 89-77 loss to No. 1/1 Memphis on Jan. 30, 2008.
Louisville guard Russ Smith scored 17 points to lead the Cardinals. Luke Hancock added 15 points, hitting eight of nine free throws, while Montrezl Harrell also had 15 for the Cardinals (19-4, 8-2 American).
The Cardinals shot just under 70 percent from the field in the first half, including 6 of 10 from behind the arc in building a 19-point halftime lead. Louisville finished the game shooting 56 percent.
TaShawn Thomas had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Jherrod Stiggers added 14 points to lead the Cougars (11-12, 3-7), who dropped their fifth straight and have lost seven of their last eight games. Danuel House had 11 for Houston.
Houston shot 46 percent from the field but committed 14 turnovers, leading to 24 points for the Cardinals.
Trailing 53-33 with 16 minutes remaining, Houston used an 18-7 run over the next 8 1-2 minutes to close within nine on Tione Womack's runner with 7:37 left. Stiggers had eight points in the run.
Louisville responded by pushing the lead back to 71-56 with 4:43 remaining on a Jones jumper. Houston would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Louisville opened up a 15-point lead with an 18-3 run over a 6 1/2 minute stretch of the first half. Smith had six points on two three-pointers in the run that was capped by a Jones 3-pointer with 7:46 remaining in the half to make it 29-14. Houston was 0 for 3 from the field with five turnovers during Louisville's run.
The Cardinals lead expanded from there, growing to 40-19 on a Jones 3-point play with 4:13 to go in the first half.
Louisville led 45-26 at the half.
Houston honored longtime head coach and 2013 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Guy V. Lewis in a pre-game ceremony. Former players including former NBA head coach Don Chaney and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes were in attendance for the ceremony in which Lewis was presented with a proclamation that Wednesday was `Guy V. Lewis Day' in the city of Houston.
Following Wednesday's game, the Cougars continue their brief homestand when they meet American Athletic Conference rival Temple at 1 p.m., Sunday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team will hit the road again to face American leader and seventh-ranked Cincinnati at 2 p.m. (CST), Feb. 15, inside Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.
Houston Men's Basketball Tickets are on sale NOW. Fans can purchase single-game and 3-game mini-plans by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or by clicking here.
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POSTGAME NOTES With tonight's 77-62 loss, Houston fell to 5-15 all-time against the Cardinals, and 2-7 at home in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Tonight's attendance of 7,247 was the largest crowd at Hofheinz Pavilion since a record 8,918 saw the Cougars play No. 1 Memphis on January 30, 2008.
Junior forward TaShawn Thomas continued his hot play with 14 points and eight rebounds in the game despite only registering 25 minutes due to first-half foul trouble. Thomas entered tonight's contest averaging 15.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg, which are good enough for seventh and second respectively in American Athletic Conference play.
Thomas has now started 86 consecutive games for the Cougars since the 2011-12 season. In his third year with the Cougars, Thomas has not missed a game since he has been on campus.
Legendary Houston Coach Guy V. Lewis was honored pregame for his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Lewis was formally inducted along with Louisville head coach Rick Pitino on Sept 8.