Dec. 07, 2013
HOUSTON - University of Houston guards Jherrod Stiggers and Brandon Morris each drained four 3-pointers on the way to career highs in points, but it would not be enough as San Jose State claimed a 72-68 win on Saturday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Posting the first 20-point game of his career, Stiggers hit 6-of-14 shots from the field on the way to 20 with four treys of his own and added three rebounds with an assist while coming off the bench for the first time in 2013-14.
Morris nailed six of his nine shots from the field to finish with 17 points and topped the Cougars with five rebounds and three steals.
The Cougars appeared to have the game well in hand, building a 41-29 lead at halftime and led 60-47 after a pair of free throws from Stiggers with just 8:38 left in the game.
Playing for the first time in Hofheinz Pavilion, San Jose State erupted on an 18-1 run for a 65-61 lead during the next five minutes with Rashad Muhammad scoring all but three of the Spartans' points during that rally.
Trailing 65-61 with 3:36 left, the Cougars rallied behind senior forward J.J. Richardson. The Missouri City, Texas, native converted an and-1 to pull Houston to within 65-64 with 3:08 left and tipped in a TaShawn Thomas miss with 1:58 remaining to give Houston a 66-65 lead.
However, Muhammad gave the Spartans the lead for good with his fourth and final 3-pointer of the night on the ensuing possession. Houston missed a 3-point attempt on its next possession with 55 seconds left.
With the Cougars not needing to foul, San Jose State worked some time but was fouled with just nine seconds remaining on the shot clock. Still under the foul limit, Houston was forced to foul and take time off the clock before sending the Spartans to the line for a 1-and-1.
With just 17 seconds left, SJSU's Jalen James converted both free throws and did the same again eight seconds later for the final margin of victory.
Thomas finished with 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks for the Cougars in the loss.
Muhammad came off the bench to pour in 21 points, while Jalen James added 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Spartans' second triple-double in school history. He became the first Houston opponent to accomplish that feat since Texas A&M's Vernon Smith tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in College Station on Feb. 28, 1981.
Devante Wilson added 16 points for the Spartans.
The Cougars return close out their non-conference home schedule when they play host to Alcorn State at 6:30 p.m., Monday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
As UH students prepare for the semester's final examinations, they are invited to take a much-needed study break during Monday's game. Students with valid UH IDs will receive free pizza while supplies last as well as FREE Finals Survival Packs to the first 100 students in attendance. These packs include snacks, scantrons, bluebooks, pens and pencils.
During the game, students in attendance can register for a chance to win skull candy earphones, a Samsung table or a $100 Visa Gift Card. Winners will be determined by in-game raffle and announced in the second half.
Fans can watch Monday's game live on ESPN3 and listen to it live on 950 AM KPRC.
The Cougars don't return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion until their first American Athletic Conference game when they face No. 12 UConn at 8 p.m., Dec. 31.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $195, while Reserved season tickets start at only $280. Families can purchase the Memorial Hermann Family Fun Plan of two adult and two youth General Admission tickets for only $399.
Fans who purchase season tickets will receive a free Guy V. Lewis bobblehead later this season. Lewis was a legendary coach for the Cougars from 1956-86, compiling nearly 600 wins with five NCAA Final Four appearances, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.
Mini-plans also are on sale now. In the Conference Mini-Plan, fans can buy tickets to all nine American Athletic Conference home games, including defending national champion Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis and UConn, with General Admission seating starting at $120 and Reserved Seating selling for $165.
With the 6-Pack, fans receive tickets for all four weekend home conference games against Rutgers, SMU, Temple and UCF, the Feb. 5 showdown against Louisville and a choice of the UConn, Cincinnati or Memphis games with General Admission seating for only $80 and Reserved Seating for $110.
Fans can purchase season tickets or 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.
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.
Fans should remember that purchasing Men's Basketball season tickets will help their standing in the Cougar Pride Priority Point System, which determines seating priority in the new Houston Football Stadium when it opens in August 2014.
Fans receive two Priority Points per sport per account when purchasing Men's Basketball season tickets, and every Priority Point improves each fan's ranking in the System.