Cougars tumble at So. Miss
The Cougars fell into a huge hole against Southern Miss on Thursday night and never recovered, dropping a 77-68 decision before a crowd of 1,524 at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Miss.
For the Cougars (13-12, 7-5 Conference USA), it was their second loss in the last three games.
It also added further emotional toll to UH’s season. The Associated Press reported Thursday that head coach Joe Curl was in a Houston hospital for more observation after being admitted to a Dallas hospital last weekend with chest pains.
UH was in a three-way tie for first place entering last weekend but is now tied for third place with East Carolina after falling to one of C-USA’s worst teams.
The Cougars struggled mightily on offense in the first half against Southern Miss, shooting 9-of-29 in that period. The Golden Eagles (8-17, 4-8), who claimed their fourth consecutive home win, shot a scorching 58.6 percent in the first period to take a 41-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
UH battled back in the second half, shooting 47.1 percent to stay within striking range. Guard Porsche Landry hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cougars within 71-62 with 1:02 remaining, but the Cougars never really got much close than that.
UH was led by guard Brittney Scott, who scored 25 points while shooting 9-of-22 from the field. Forward Courtney Taylor registered a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to go with three blocks and three steals.
The Cougars struggled to contain Southern Miss guard Candace Rucker, who scored a game-high 27 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Rucker also made 11 of 13 free throws.
Forward Pauline Love, the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer, added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Geneshia Dunbar pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go with nine points.
The Cougars will next face Central Florida at 6 p.m. Saturday in Orlando.