MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Freshman forward Alandise Harris did a little of everything Tuesday night, leading the Cougars in points, rebounds, assists, blocked shots and steals during a 69-58 loss to Conference USA-rival Memphis at FedExForum.
The Little Rock, Ark., native topped the Cougars with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and three steals, but the Tigers used a late rally in the final three minutes to ice the win against Houston.
Although they trailed for much of the second half, the Cougars staged a furious rally midway through the second half and pulled to within 57-55 when sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke converted a pair of free throws.
Following two Memphis missed shots, the Cougars had a chance to tie or take the lead on the ensuing possession, but a shot clock violation swung the momentum back in the Tigers' favor.
Coming out of the final media timeout, Memphis guard Charles Carmouche hit a 3-pointer, and, following a Cougar missed shot, Antonio Barton added his own 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 63-55 lead with 1:58 remaining.
Memphis went 2-for-5 from the field and nailed all six free throw attempts in the final three minutes while limiting the Cougars to only three points during that time. With the loss, the Cougars fell to 12-14 overall and 4-9 in C-USA games. Memphis moved to 21-7 overall and 9-4 in league games.
In addition to Harris, seniors Zamal Nixon and Maurice McNeil each finished with 11 points to lead the Cougars. Nixon added five rebounds and a pair of assists and went 5-of-6 from the free throw line. After hitting each of his first five attempts from the charity stripe, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native missed his final attempt, halting his streak at 21 consecutive made free throws.
Tarik Black scored 16 points with two rebounds to lead Memphis, while Wesley Witherspoon came off the bench to pour in 13 points, thanks to a 9-of-12 night from the free throw line. Carmouche added 12 points with two 3-pointers and a game-high eight rebounds, while Antonio Barton finished with 10 points to pace the Tigers.
The first half went back and forth with 10 lead changes and six ties. After the Cougars grabbed a 27-24 lead, Memphis used a 13-2 run to build a 37-29 advantage. Houston then scored three of the half's last four points to trail only 38-32 at the break.
The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion when they play host to UAB at 5 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. That game can be seen live on CBS College Sports with Dave Ryan calling the play-by-play action and Pete Gillen providing analysis.
From there the team heads to New Orleans to meet league-rival Tulane at 7 p.m., March 2, at Fogelman Arena.
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.
Only two regular-season home games remain on the schedule, and Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now.
Fans 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.
* Tuesday's crowd of 16,550 was the largest to watch the Cougars play this season at any venue... It was the second straight game that more than 11,000 fans saw the Cougars after 11,173 fans watched the Houston-UTEP game in El Paso on Feb. 19.
* With five 3-pointers, the Cougars played their 300th straight game with at least one trey.
* Freshman forward Alandise Harris' three steals was a career best... It topped his previous high of one, set seven times and done most recently at NR/RV UTEP on Feb. 19.