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Men's Basketball Takes Tough Road Win at Murray State

Nov. 14, 2014

Game Book | Season Stats

MURRAY, Ky. - Trailing by as many as 11 points late in the first half, the University of Houston Men's Basketball program rallied throughout the night before using a big rally of their own to take a 77-74 win against Murray State inside the CFSB Center on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

The Cougars used a solid all-around effort in the second half to give head coach Kelvin Sampson the victory in his Houston debut. Houston connected on 55.6 percent of its 27 shots in the final period and limited the Racers to only 34.3 percent , including a 2-of-14 showing from the 3-point line, in the second half.

The Cougars fell behind by 11 points on two occasions late in the first half but closed out the opening period on an 8-3 run and entered the locker room at the break down 42-38.

Houston continued its hot play to start the second half, taking advantage of an 8-4 run to knot the game at 46-46 when sophomore forward Danrad Knowles converted a layup with 17:14 remaining in the game.

However, Murray State responded with an 11-2 run over the next four and a half minutes and looked ready to seize control of the game at 57-48 on Justin Seymour's free throw with 12;43 left.

The game went back and forth from there with the Cougars clawing their way closer. Murray State grabbed a 64-60 lead when Jeffery Moss sank a pair of free throws with just 9:08 to go.

From there, the Cougars erupted on a 12-2 run over the next four and a half minutes to build a 72-66 lead with 4:40 left for their largest advantage of the night. Pollard highlighted the rally with six points during the Houston run.

Houston built a 76-70 lead with 1:11 remaining in the game, but the Racers would not go quietly. Jarvis Williams sank a pair of free throws and, after a Houston turnover, Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year Cameron Payne hit a jumper to move Murray State to within 76-74 with 60 seconds left.

After another Houston giveaway, the Racers were off on a 3-point attempt, and freshman forward JC Washington snared the defensive rebound before being fouled. The Houston native and Yates High product hit 1-of-2 of his attempts for a 77-74 Houston lead.

Following another Murray State missed 3-pointer, the Cougars grabbed the defensive board and had a chance to ice the game from the free throw line with just seven seconds left. However, Houston missed the attempt and, after a couple of tip-in tries s around the basket, Murray State grabbed the loose ball and threw down the court for a last-second, game-tying attempt.

Fortunately, T.J. Sapp's heave at the buzzer was off the mark, giving the Cougars their 10th season-opening win in the last 11 years and their first season-opening win on the road since 2006 at Rhode Island.

After scoring only four points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half, junior forward Devonta Pollard totaled 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the second half and led the Cougars in his debut in the Scarlet and White with 19 points, including a 7-of-7 effort from the free throw line.

Junior guard Jherrod Stiggers added 17 points, including three 3-pointers, with five rebounds, while Baker totaled 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Making his collegiate debut, Washington led the Cougars with eight rebounds, including seven off the defensive glass.

Payne led all players with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting and was one of four Murray State players to reach double digits. Moss posted 21 points with four 3-pointers, while Justin Seymour came off the bench to score 12 points. Jarvis Williams added 10 points with a game-high 11 rebounds for the double-double in the loss.


UP NEXT
The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to open their home schedule against Morgan State on Saturday, Nov. 22. Starting times for the Nov. 22 Houston Men's Basketball's game vs. Morgan State and Houston's Football's game vs. Tulsa will be released Saturday evening.
BUY TICKETS NOW
Fans have a variety of tickets options to accommodate any budget. Season tickets, group tickets and mini-plans also are on sale now. For complete tickets information, fans can visit uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and follow the appropriate links or by clicking here.

To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office from 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge.

All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.

SEASON TICKETS
Season ticket packages start for as low as $99 in the Reserved 3 section for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Memorial Hermann Family Plan, which includes two adult and two kids' season tickets, can be purchased for only $399 in the Reserved 2 section for the entire regular-season home schedule.

Fans can purchase season tickets online by visiting uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here. To view a map of Hofheinz Pavilion with season ticket pricing, fans can click here.

Fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office from 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge.

All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.

MINI PLANS
Fans also have a choice of a pair of mini plans when choosing their ticket options. With the Conference Pack, fans can purchase tickets to each of the Cougars' nine American Athletic Conference home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion, starting at only $8 per game in the Reserved 3 section.

Fans can choose the 3-Point Pack and pick any three of the Cougars' 17 regular-season home games with prices starting as low as $9 per game in the Reserved 3 section.

To order mini-plans online, fans can visit UHCougars.com/mbbtickets and follow the appropriate links or click here.

GROUP TICKETS
Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased for as low as $9 per ticket in Reserved 3 (Section 101-102, 115-116, 126-128) for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets for only $14 per ticket in the Reserved 2 (Sections 103-104, 109-111, 117-119 and 124-125), while Reserved 3 seats (Section 105-108, 120-123) are available at $19 per ticket.

The ticket cost per person falls even more for groups of 25 or more. Group administrators are encouraged to call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office soon to secure their seats.

For a map of Hofheinz Pavilion group seating sections and prices, fans can click here. Fans can purchase group tickets online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

STAY CONNECTED
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Men's Basketball news and notes on the team's Facebook page by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops.


 

 

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