Dec. 18, 2005
Jahmar Thorpe and Lanny Smith combined for 35 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome a sluggish performance as South Alabama upset 25th-ranked Houston, 66-62, in the opening game of the GMAC Bowl's Coors Classic in Mobile, Ala. Saturday.
With most of his teammates struggling, Smith opened the game scoring 12 of his 17 points in the first half to lead Houston to a 30-27 halftime lead.
Following the intermission, both teams fought back and forth trying to take control of the game. Houston opened up a five-point lead (37-32) when Thorpe scored three points on a lay-up and ensuing free throw.
But, the Cougars couldn't put South Alabama away as Demetric Bennett hit a three-point shot from the right corner to give the Jaguars took the lead for good, 51-48, with 7:10 left to play.
After Bennett made a jump shot on the left baseline, Houston fought back to within one, 53-52, as Thorpe made both of his free throws and Ramon Dyer scored two points on a dunk shot after he stole Bennett's pass with 4:45 remaining to play.
That was as close as Houston could get as Chey Christie scored seven points on a three-point field goal and four free throws to give the Jaguars their biggest lead, 62-54, with 1:24 left to play.
Houston tried to get back into the game as Oliver Lafayette and Lamar Roberson hit three point shots to pull the Cougars to within 63-60 with 49 seconds left. Lafayette stole the ball with 37seconds left, but Smith's three-point attempt from the top of the key fell short, clinching the victory for the Jaguars, who improved their record to 7-1, while Houston fell 4-2.
The Cougars continue their three-game road trip at UNLV on Tuesday, December 20. The Rebels own a 3-5 overall record and 3-1 mark in the Thomas and Mack Center following their 84-73 nationally-televised victory over Texas Tech.