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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Men's Basketball

Cougars fumble away victory


There were 13 lead changes in a back-and-forth affair between the Cougars and the Thundering Herd. Audra Williams put the Herd ahead 63-62 with his first and only bucket with 11 seconds remaining. | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

There were 13 lead changes in a back-and-forth affair between the Cougars and the Thundering Herd. Audra Williams put the Herd ahead 63-62 with his first and only bucket with 11 seconds remaining. | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars will go back to the drawing board as they dropped their fourth straight game, losing to Marshall 63-62 in a tightly-contested game Tuesday at Hofheinz Pavilion.

UH (11-10, C-USA 3-5) battled Marshall in a game that saw 13 lead changes and 11 ties, with Marshall taking the final lead with four seconds remaining.

The Cougars held the margin close as they trailed for most of the second half but got back into the game with a strong defensive effort.

They held Marshall without a field goal for a stretch of three minutes while taking the lead with 1:13 remaining behind a pair of free throws from freshman forward Alandise Harris.

The go-ahead basket for the Thundering Herd came after Harris blocked the initial layup, but Aundra Williams was there to recover the offensive rebound for the putback to give Marshall the deciding lead.

“We just can’t finish close games at the end,” Harris said.

“We turn the ball over and we’re not doing what coach says.”

String of bad luck

Head coach James Dickey said he does not remember a stretch like these and says he has to do a better job of preparing his team.

“The bottom line is we just didn’t execute,” Dickey said. “We haven’t executed in the last four games, during the last three minutes. We have to coach better and get our guys to play better in those situations.”

Zamal Nixon had an effective second half using his speed to get to the basket and dishing out seven assists.

But with 25 seconds remaining and the Cougars nursing a one-point lead, Nixon missed on a contested 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.

“His success in the second half had been driving and going to the basket,” Dickey said.

“You make it easy for them when you just jump up and shoot a three and end up shooting an air ball.”

During stretches of the game, UH was unable to establish an offensive rhythm, but still managed to stay in the game thanks to free throws.

Harris had 20 free-throw attempts and converted on 12 of them. He finished with 16 points.

Maurice McNeil chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds coming close to a double-double.

The Cougars will look to bounce back from the skid at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Tulsa (11-10, 4-3).


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