|3-Point Field Goals||3-14||8-17|
Dec. 11, 2010
HOUSTON - Senior forward Maurice McNeil scored a career-high 26 points with 12 rebounds for his team-leading fifth double-double of the season, but it would not be enough as the University of Houston men's basketball team dropped a 68-63 decision to UTSA on Saturday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
McNeil finished with his team-leading fifth double-double of the season and recorded his first 20-point game of the season. The New York native became the third different Cougar player to score at least 20 points in a game this season and overcame some early free throw shooting, hitting 8-of-9 attempts from the line.
UTSA appeared to have the game under control after building a 64-55 lead that prompted Houston head coach James Dickey to call timeout with just less than three minutes remaining in the game.
Following that timeout, the Cougars scored the game's next eight points and pulled to within 64-63 when senior guard Zamal Nixon buried a pair of free throws with just 47 seconds to go. After UTSA missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 36 seconds to go, the Cougars looked to regain the lead when sophomore forward Kendrick Washington was fouled with 19 seconds to go.
Unfortunately, the Shreveport, La., native missed both attempts, forcing the Cougars to foul Stephen Franklin after the rebound.
Franklin made only 1-of-2 free throws, giving the Cougars another chance to tie the game, but junior guard Darian Thibodeaux's 3-pointer with four seconds to go was off the mark. UTSA's Jeromie Hill hit two free throws with 1.5 seconds to go for the final margin of victory.
With the loss, Houston fell to 6-4 and saw its eight-game home winning streak end. UTSA, which won its second straight game against the Cougars, improved to 6-2.
Brown and Nixon posted 10 points apiece to lead the Cougars.
Franklin led the Roadrunners with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and nine rebounds, while Hill added 15 points and six rebounds. Devin Gibson added eight points with six rebounds and a game-high 11 assists.
With final examinations in full swing, the Cougars will take a break from action before returning to the floor at 7 p.m., Saturday, when they meet Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
From there, the team returns to Hofheinz Pavilion to close out the month and the year with a pair of home games. Houston plays host to Sam Houston State in a rematch from earlier this month at 7 p.m., Dec. 21, and then meets Rogers State for the first time at 6 p.m., Dec. 30/
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.
Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans can choose from a variety of different ticket packages that best suit their needs, including the Weekend Package (8 weekend home games) and the Conference USA Package (8 C-USA home games).
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 link at UHCougars.com to buy tickets today.
* With three 3-pointers, the Cougars recorded their 284th consecutive game with at least one trey... However, Houston did not enjoy its first long-range shot until 12:30 was left in the second half.
* McNeil's point total topped his previous high of 23 points at Rice on Jan. 23, 2010.