Dec. 8, 2012
HOUSTON - University of Houston freshman forward Danuel House drained a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation to force overtime, and the Cougars used that momentum to outscore Texas Southern in the extra period on the way to a 78-75 win on Saturday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The win was part of a valiant comeback by the Cougars who trailed by as many as 11 points midway through the second half and were down nine with less than five minutes to go.
However, the Cougars refused to quit after Lawrence Johnson-Danner's trey put the Tigers ahead 64-55 with 4:54 left in regulation. Houston scored the next eight points to move to within 64-63 when sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas buried a jumper with 68 seconds left on the clock.
After TSU's Fred Sturdivant connected on two free throws with 31 seconds left, the Cougars took over trailing 66-63 with 23 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, sophomore guard Joseph Young was off on his 3-point attempt but made a diving save on the offensive rebound out of bounds and flipped the ball to House at the top of the key.
The Sugar Land, Texas, native stepped up and drained only his third 3-pointer of the season to tie the game at 66-66. Electing not to call timeout, Texas Southern quickly brought the ball back down, but Sturdivant's 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark, forcing the first overtime contest of the season for both squads.
In overtime, the Cougars jumped out with the lead early. Young connected on a pair of free throws two minutes into the extra period. After a missed TSU 3-pointer, sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas drew the foul on a layup and converted the ensuing free throw for a 72-66 lead with 2:14 to go.
The Tigers continued to battle back and moved to within 76-75 with seven seconds left when Omar Strong buried his eighth and final 3-pointer of the night. However, sophomore point guard J.J. Thompson drained both free throw attempts and stole the ball from Raymond Penn on the final play of the game to seal the win.
With the victory, the Cougars improved to 7-2, while Texas Southern dropped to 1-8.
Thomas led the Cougars with 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting and added a game-high nine rebounds with three blocks. It was the Killeen, Texas, native's fourth 20-point game this season and during his career.
Young finished with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and went 5-of-5 from the free throw line for his second 20-point game in 2012-13. Thompson finished with 10 points, thanks to six free throws on eight attempts, and a team-high six assists, while redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers added nine points, hitting all three 3-point attempts.
Strong led all players with 29 points, thanks to eight 3-pointers, while Penn added 12 points and a game-high 10 assists. Aaron Clayborn totaled 10 points with six rebounds in the loss.
Houston competed in its first overtime game since falling 67-62 to UTEP on March 7, 2012, during the Conference USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn.
Cougars played the 80th overtime game in school history... Houston improved to 43-37 all-time in overtime games and 36-29 all-time in single-overtime contests.
Marked the fifth straight season that Houston played at least one overtime game.
Head coach James Dickey led the Cougars in their ninth overtime game during his Houston career... Cougars improved to 5-4 all-time in overtime games.
Cougars improved to 5-2 all-time against Texas Southern... Was the first meeting between the teams since Nov. 21, 2007.
Junior forward J.J. Richardson made his debut with Houston... Richardson, who sat out the entire 2011-12 season after transferring from Pitt, missed the first eight game of the season with a stress reaction in his right foot.... Posted two points with three rebounds, two steals, a block and two fouls in 10 minutes... Was his first action since competing with Pitt against Xavier during the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 21, 2010.
Sophomore forward Mikhail McLean made his second straight start... Finished with a career-high three blocks... Topped his previous best of two blocks at Tulsa on Feb. 5, 2011.
Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas tied his career high with 37 minutes played... Equaled mark set at San Jose State (Nov. 13, 2012) and vs. Tulsa (Jan. 4, 2012).
Sophomore point guard J.J. Thompson set a career high with 35 minutes played... Topped his previous high of 34 set against UTEP on Jan. 28, 2012. Freshman forward Danuel House played a career-high 35 minutes for the second straight game.
The Cougars continue their season-long homestand when they play host to Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m., Dec. 15.
The stand continues against Chicago State (3 p.m., Dec. 22); Prairie View A&M (3 p.m., Dec. 29); Texas-Pan American (7 p.m., Jan. 3) and Conference USA-rival SMU (7 p.m., Jan. 9).
Single-game tickets for all remaining home games and a variety of ticket packs to suit any budget 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.
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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.