HOUSTON - Overcoming a game-tying 3-pointer with less than six seconds left in regulation, the University of Houston Men's Basketball program outscored LSU in the extra period 21-14 to take a 105-98 win in overtime on Sunday afternoon inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Sophomore guard Rob Gray, Jr., scored 11 of his career-high 31 points in overtime to lead the Cougars to their first win against a Southeastern Conference member since an 87-78 victory against Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 18, 2011.
The Cougars, who improved to 6-1 this season, built as much as an 11-point lead in the first half and led 84-81 with 14 seconds remaining in regulation when senior forward Devonta Pollard sank 1-of-2 free throws. However, LSU's Keith Hornsby buried a 3-pointer from the left wing with 5.5 seconds remaining to knot the game at 84-84.
When a Houston desperation shot at the buzzer was off the mark, the Cougars prepared for their first overtime contest of the 2015-16 season.
If the Cougars were deflated at all going into overtime, it certainly did not show. Gray buried a 3-pointer on the Cougars' first possession to give them the lead for good and sank a pair of free throws to give Houston an 89-84 lead less than a minute into the extra period.
After a Hornsby layup cut into the Houston lead, junior forward Damyean Dotson connected on a 3-pointer, and following a pair of missed LSU free throws, freshman point guard Galen Robinson, Jr., drained a jumper for a 94-86 Houston lead.
LSU cut the gap to 97-94 with 53 seconds left on a Tim Quarterman 3-pointer, but Robinson hit 1-of-2 free throws, and a Dotston steal on the Tigers' ensuing possession led to a thunderous Devonta Pollard dunk to electrify the 7,918 fans in attendance inside Hofheinz Pavilion for a 100-94 Houston lead with 26 ticks on the clock.
It was the largest home crowd for the Cougars since falling to No. 1 Memphis in front of 8,918 fans on Jan. 30, 2008.
After not enjoying a double-double in the first two years of his collegiate career, Dotson finished with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games.
Making his first start of the season, junior forward Danrad Knowles tallied 20 points with nine rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots, while Pollard finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Hornsby led all players with 32 points, thanks to six 3-pointers, while Quarterman added 27 points, thanks to a 9-of-11 effort from the free throw line. Freshman sensation Ben Simmons posted 13 points with a game-high 14 rebounds and added five assists, three steals and a pair of blocks before fouling out.
Aaron Epps finished with 12 points in the losing effort.
Following Sunday's game, the Cougars continue their homestand when they play host to North Carolina Central at 7 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion in the Global Basketball Classic Classic First Round.
From there, the team hosts Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m., Saturday, in the Global Basketball Classic Second Round. That game will be the first Youth Night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Youth basketball teams (grades K-6th) are invited to wear their team jerseys and be admitted for FREE for the Saturday, Dec. 19, game against Eastern Illinois. Additional tickets for anyone accompanying a youth player in a team jersey will be available on the day of the game for only $5.
Youth teams are invited to take a group photo on Guy V. Lewis Court following the Cougars' game and receive Houston's official 2015-16 team poster.
For more information about Youth Basketball Nights, fans should email email@example.com.
HOW TO ORDER TICKETS
Fans have a variety of ticket options to accommodate any budget. Season tickets, group tickets, single-game tickets and 3-Point Packs are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for complete information, fans can visit uhcougars.com/tickets and follow the appropriate links or click here.
Fans also 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.
Single-game tickets for Houston Men's Basketball's 2015-16 season begin at only $5 per game. Fans can purchase General Admission single-game tickets for only $5, while Reserved 2 seating is available for only $10 per game. Fans may buy Reserved 1 single-game tickets for $15 per ticket.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets by clicking here.
Fans can purchase three tickets to Houston home games in the 3-Point Pack. Reserved 1 seating for the 3-Point Pack can be purchased for $40 with Reserved seating available for only $30.
Fans can purchase the 3-Point Pack by clicking here.
Tickets for groups of 10-24 or more can be purchased for as low as $12 per ticket in Reserved 2 for 18 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of more than 25 people can buy Reserved 2 tickets for only $10 per ticket
Groups of 10-24 can buy tickets for only $10 per ticket in Reserved 2 with prices plummeting to only $6 per ticket for groups of 25 or more.
Administrators can find more information about group tickets seating and pricing by clicking here.
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.