Cougars crash Green Wave
A 19-2 second half run, led by tough and energetic defense, pushed the Cougars to a 60-53 victory over Tulane on Thursday.
The run started with UH trailing Tulane 37-30 with 15:41 left in the game, but the Cougars only allowed one basket during the next nine minutes to build a 49-39 advantage.
Forward Courtney Taylor, who had game-high 21 points, scored the first 8 points for the Cougars (16-7, 8-3 Conference USA) during the run, including a break-away layup off a steal that sent the crowd into frenzy.
‘That (steal) not only lit our team up, it lit up the fans,’ UH head coach Joe Curl said.
UH’s lead grew slightly to 55-43 with 3:09 left, but the Green Wave capitalized from mental errors made by the Cougars to close the gap to 57-51 with 1:34 to play.
Tulane (14-11, 6-5 C-USA) was forced to foul. Taylor made three-of-four free-throw attempts in the final minute to ice the victory.
UH’s defense swarmed Tulane throughout the game, but the Green Wave was able to keep the Cougars’ offense from exploding until the second-half run.
‘It was probably one of the uglier games that we’ve played, and I give Tulane the credit for that,’ Curl said. ‘We survived it because of our defense.’
Tulane shot 28.1 percent for the game and 25.7 percent in the second half, keeping the team from building a substantial lead. UH committed 21 turnovers, but many mistakes were due to bad passes.
‘They had seven steals in the first half and we threw five of them to them,’ Curl said. ‘That’s how out of sync we were.’
The Cougars faced foul trouble throughout the game, including Porsche Landry (12 points), who fouled out with 1:48 remaining.
‘We did a good job of keeping close in the first half. To fight through that and get a win is huge,’ Curl said.
The victory keeps UH in a tie for third place in C-USA and 1.5 games behind Southern Miss.
The Cougars continue conference play against Texas-El Paso at Hofheinz Pavilion Saturday at noon. Tickets are available for only $1. The game will be televised on CBS College Sports.’ ‘ ‘