March 26, 2008
TULSA, Okla. - University of Houston senior guard Robert McKiver scored a game-high 30 points, but it would not be enough as the Cougars dropped a 73-69 decision against Conference USA rival Tulsa at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Wednesday during the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational.
McKiver recorded his 9th 30-point game of the 2007-08 season, thanks to six 3-pointers and 6-for-6 shooting from the free throw line.
However, the Golden Hurricane used a 52-32 rebounding advantage to avenge a 92-81 loss to the Cougars at Hofheinz Pavilion earlier in the season.
With the loss, the Cougars ended the season with a 24-10 record, the most wins since the 1991-92 UH team finished 25-6 and competed at the NCAA Midwest Regional. The loss also ended the collegiate careers of McKiver and fellow seniors Dion Dowell, Tafari Toney, Marcus Malone and Lanny Smith.
After Tulsa jumped out to a 41-38 halftime lead, the second half went back and forth with neither team building more than a six-point lead. The Cougars grabbed a 61-60 lead with 8:14 remaining when junior guard DaShaun Williams converted a layup.
But the Golden Hurricane went on an 8-1 run over the next 2:20 to build a 68-62 advantage and take the lead for good. With 1:16 remaining, Tulsa pushed its lead back to six points at 72-66 when Ben Uzoh made a layup.
However, McKiver needed only eight seconds to make his way down the floor and drill his sixth and final 3-pointer of the night to pull the Cougars to within 72-69. On Tulsa's ensuing possession, Ray Reese missed a 3-pointer, and junior center Marcus Cousin snared the defensive rebound.
McKiver drove the lane for a layup attempt, but Tulsa's Jerome Jordan blocked the shot and sent it out of bounds with only 10 seconds left in the game. Following a Cougar time out, McKiver's 3-point attempt was off the mark, and Jordan grabbed the rebound before being fouled.
Jordan scored 18 points and added a game-high 15 rebounds to lead the Golden Hurricane, while Ben Uzoh finished with a team-high 22 points. Calvin Walls added 12 rebounds.