Feb. 16, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Swiping a loose ball off the inbounds pass, University of Houston redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers drained a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but Tulsa eventually outlasted the Cougars in a 101-92 win in triple overtime at the Reynolds Center on Saturday afternoon.
Tulsa appeared to have iced the victory when Shaquille Harrison drained a pair of free throws for a 70-65 lead with just eight seconds remaining in regulation.
However, the Cougars raced down the floor and moved to within three points on sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas' layup just three seconds later. After Harrison threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds, Stiggers scooped up the loose ball and, jumping off one foot, drained a 3-pointer near the top of the key to absolutely stun the crown of 4,949 in attendance.
From there, the two teams battled for three extra periods before the Golden Hurricane prevailed, but each time had chances to end the contest earlier. Tulsa's Tim Peete hit 1-of-2 free throws with 10 seconds left in the first overtime to set the stage for a Cougar last chance. However, sophomore guard Joseph Young's driving layup was off the mark with one tick left on the clock, forcing another overtime.
In the second extra period, Tulsa had the chance to win at the end but was unable to convert. After Young tied the game at 86-86 with 1:13 remaining in double overtime, the two teams traded missed shots. Following a Tulsa timeout with 12 seconds left, Golden Hurricane guard Rashad Ray forced up a 3-pointer, but Houston redshirt freshman guard LeRon Barnes snatched the defensive rebound, pushing the game into a third overtime.
In the final overtime, Tulsa scored the first five points in the first 40 seconds and never trailed again. The Golden Hurricane eventually built as much as a 97-89 lead with 98 seconds left.
"I'm so proud of our guys competing," said third-year head coach James Dickey. "I despise the way the game turned out from our end, but I'm proud of our guys and how they competed. They left it all on the court."
With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 15-9 overall and 4-7 in Conference USA play. Tulsa moved to 14-11 overall and 6-5 in Conference USA play.
The game featured 59 fouls and 85 free throw attempts with Tulsa enjoyed a 50-35 advantage in the latter category. After shooting only four free throws in the opening 20 minutes, the Golden Hurricane went to the line a combined 46 times in the second half and three overtime periods.
Thomas led the Cougars with a career- and Houston-season-high 31 points on 13-of-22 shooting and added a game-high 15 rebounds for his team-leading 10th double-double this season. The Killeen, Texas, native also topped the Cougars with three assists and three blocks and finished second on the team with three steals.
Young finished the night with 25 points, thanks to a 12-of-14 performance from the line and added five rebounds, while Stiggers came off the bench to pour in 15 points off five 3-pointers.
Five Tulsa players reached double digits, led by D'Andre Wright, who scored a team-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. James Woodard posted 21 points with a team-high 12 rebounds, while Ray and Pat Swilling, Jr., posted 14 points apiece. Scottie Haralson added 10 points in the win.
Saturday's game was the first triple-overtime contest for Houston since a 75-72 home loss to Southern Miss on Feb. 3, 2004... Cougars dropped to 44-39 all-time in overtime games... Houston fell to 1-3 all-time in triple-overtime contests.
Saturday's game was the 12th overtime contest under head coach James Dickey... Second only to legend and 2013 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalist Guy V. Lewis.
With 31 points, sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas became the 52nd player in Houston history to score at least 30 points in a game.
Thomas' 31 points was the most scored by a Cougar since former guard Aubrey Coleman finished with 38 points at Tulane on March 6, 2010.
With 31 points and 15 rebounds, Thomas posted his team-leading 10th double-double of the season, second straight and the 20th of his career.
Going 12-of-14 from the free throw line, sophomore guard Joseph Young finished with career bests in both categories... The Houston native and Yates High product tied set his high in free throws made and tied it in free throw attempts in the first half alone after going 10-of-10.
With five 3-pointers, redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers tied the Houston single-season record in that category... Stiggers is now 55-of-137 from behind the arc in 2012-13... He equaled the mark first set by Damon Jones during the 1994-95 season and tied by current teammate Joseph Young in 2011-12.
Young (51), Thomas (50), Jherrod Stiggers (45) and Tione Womack (38) each posted career highs in minutes played.
Thomas started his 54th consecutive game, every game of his collegiate career.
Houston fell to 21-23 in the all-time series against Tulsa... Cougars dropped to 7-14 all-time against the Golden Hurricane in Tulsa.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars return to action at 8 p.m., Wednesday, when they meet Memphis at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. That game can be seen live on CSS.
The game also can be heard live on NewsRadio 740 AM KTRH with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action.
Single-game tickets for remaining home games 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 email@example.com. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information or click here.