HOUSTON - University of Houston sophomore forward Danrad Knowles scored a career-high 22 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Cougars, but it would not be enough as South Carolina State claimed a 71-63 win on Saturday afternoon in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Regional Round inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Knowles enjoyed the first double-double of his collegiate career. The Nassau, Bahamas, native connected on 8-of-13 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc, and snared 11 rebounds.
The Cougars (5-3) fell behind early and played catch-up for most of the game. Trailing 32-27 at the half, the Cougars continued to threaten and used a 10-3 rally early in the second half to take a 43-41 lead on a Knowles' 3-pointer.
However, South Carolina State took advantage of a 15-4 run over the next 8:27 to build a 56-47 advantage. Houston could move no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Although the Cougars committed a season-low five turnovers in the game, South Carolina State outrebounded Houston 50-35 and connected on 47.2 percent from the field while limiting the Cougars to only 31.3 percent.
Guard Edward Stephens led four Bulldogs in double digits with 19 points, including three 3-pointers, while guard Jalen White added 17 points with four rebounds. Forward Darryl Palmer posted 10 points with 13 rebounds, five assists and eight blocked shots, and forward Tashombe Riley finished with 10 points and five assists in the win.
In addition to Knowles, junior point guard L.J. Rose posted 14 points with two rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Jherrod Stiggers totaled 12 points with three rebounds and a pair of steals.
Houston opens the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Championship Round play at 9:30 p.m. (CST) Monday against Boise State inside Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Cougars then meet the winner/loser of Texas Tech-Loyola (Ill.) on Tuesday evening in the final game before Christmas.
BUY TICKETS NOW
Fans have a variety of tickets options to accommodate any budget. Group tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets as well as Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic tickets also are on sale now. For complete tickets information, fans can visit uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and follow the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To purchase tickets, fans 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.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.
Fans also have a choice of a pair of mini plans when choosing their ticket options. With the Conference Pack, fans can purchase tickets to each of the Cougars' nine American Athletic Conference home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion, starting at only $8 per game in the Reserved 3 section.
Fans can choose the 3-Point Pack and pick any three of the Cougars' 17 regular-season home games with prices starting as low as $9 per game in the Reserved 3 section.
Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased for as low as $9 per ticket in Reserved 3 (Section 101-102, 115-116, 126-128) for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets for only $14 per ticket in the Reserved 2 (Sections 103-104, 109-111, 117-119 and 124-125), while Reserved 3 seats (Section 105-108, 120-123) are available at $19 per ticket.
The ticket cost per person falls even more for groups of 25 or more. Group administrators are encouraged to call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office soon to secure their seats.
For a map of Hofheinz Pavilion group seating sections and prices, fans can click here. Fans can purchase group tickets online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Single-game tickets can be purchased for as low as $10 per game in the Reserved 3 section inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans can buy single-tickets in Reserved 2 for only $15 with tickets in Reserved 1 going for $20 per game.
CONTINENTAL TIRE LAS VEGAS CLASSIC TICKETS
Tickets for the 2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Championship Round inside Orleans Arena in Las Vegas are now on sale at the University of Houston Athletics Ticket Office, and fans are encouraged to make their purchases soon due to limited numbers.
Fans can purchase tickets to both of the Cougars' games in the Championship Round for $110. The Cougars open the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic at 9:30 p.m. (CST) Dec. 22, when they meet Boise State inside Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Depending on the outcome of the Boise State game, the Cougars will face Texas Tech or Loyola (Ill.) on Dec. 23 in a game televised on FOX Sports 1.
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.