HOUSTON - University of Houston guards Rob Gray and Corey Davis Jr., posted 20 points apiece, but it would not be quite enough as the Cougars fell 80-77 at LSU inside Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Wednesday night.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 8-2 this season and saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end.
Gray, who leads the American Athletic Conference in scoring, enjoyed his sixth 20-point effort this season -- including his third straight -- and the 64th of his career. The Forest City, N.C., native connected on 7-of-16 shots from the field and dished out a game-high seven assists.
Davis connected on 6-of-10 shots from the free throw line and drained a pair of free throws for the first 20-point game of his career. The Lafayette, La., native became the fourth different Cougar to total 20 points in 2017-18.
The Cougars fell behind by 11 points early in the game but clawed back into the game and took a 38-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The two teams went back and forth from there. The Cougars held a 49-45 lead when Gray drained a pair of free throws just under 16 minutes, but the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to take a 55-49 lead over the next three and a half minutes.
Houston regained the lead at 62-61 when senior forward Devin Davis drained a jumper with 6:58 remaining, but the Tigers got back-to-back 3-pointers from Tremont Waters and Daryl Edward to build a 67-62 lead they would never relinquish.
Trailing 76-70 with under three minutes remaining, the Cougars moved to within 80-77 after a Gray 3-pointer with 49 seconds left and had a chance to tie the game on their last possession but a pair of a 3-point attempts in the final six seconds were off the mark.
Devin Davis finished with 14 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added a team-high seven rebounds.
LSU forward Aaron Epps led all players with 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 16 rebounds. Guard Skylar Mays added 18 points with nine rebounds, while Waters finished with 17 points, two rebounds and a team-high six assists and a game-high three steals.
The Tigers limited the Cougars to 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field and outrebounded Houston, 38-33, becoming the first team in 2017-18 to accomplish that feat. The Cougars' nine-game streak of outrebounding opponents was the longest since the 1981-82 season.
The Cougars return to action at 3 p.m., Sunday, when they play host to Prairie View A&M inside H&PE Arena... It will be the team's final non-conference home game of the year. Following Sunday's game, the Cougars close out the regular season vs. Providence at 6 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, in Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. Game can be seen on ESPNU and heard on KPRC 950 AM.
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