Houston Falls Short Against Memphis






    Houston's Alton Ford forces an errant shot by Shannon Forman of Memphis.(Photo by Jeff Shaw)
    HOUSTON (AP) -- Memphis turned back a Houston rally, winning 86-78 Saturday night behind the career-high 24 points of 6-11 sophomore Earl Barron.

    With 6-10 Kelly Wise in foul trouble most of the game, Barron scored 22 of his points in the second half for Memphis (7-8, 1-1 Conference USA).

    The Cougars (3-10, 0-1) trailed by 21 points midway through the second half, but almost caught up because of Chad Hendrick's torrid shooting.

    Hendrick played only four minutes in the first half while drawing three personal fouls, but accounted for 18 points in just over four minutes during a 26-11 roll that brought Houston within 72-66 with 5:21 to play.

    Hendrick sank four 3-pointers during the Cougars' comeback.

    Hendrick hit 5-of-7 3-pointers to cut Memphis' lead to 79-74 at 1:49, but Barron scored inside with a baseline move and on a putback of Marcus Moody's missed layup.

    Four free throws by Moody and one by Shyrone Chatman in the last 37 seconds finally quashed the Cougars.

    Barron averaged 4.6 points in the Tigers' first 14 games, but was 10-of-11 from the field against Houston. The Tigers got 12 points off the bench from 6-8 Paris London and 11 from Moody.

    Memphis widened its margin to 49-36 early in the second half even after Wise drew his fourth personal. Barron then entered to deliver 11 consecutive points, including a hook shot on Alton Ford's third personal foul, a call that angered Ford into a technical foul, his third of the season and his fourth personal of the game.

    UH shot 22 free throws to Memphis' five but missed seven times from the foul line including five by Ford in 10 attempts, but the 6-10 freshman scored nine points with seven rebounds in a productive 14 minutes before intermission.

    Memphis led 36-30 at the half.

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