UH can’t close out Tulsa, lose fifth straight
The Cougars continue to show that they can hang with any team in Conference USA for 38 minutes, but have not yet mastered how to finish a game.
Tulsa proved to be the better team in overtime, winning 76-71.
The loss marked the Cougars’ (11-11, 3-6 C-USA) fifth in a row; in all losses, they had a lead in the game’s final minutes.
The Cougars were ahead closing out regulation, but a dagger 3-pointer by Justin Hurtt sent the game to overtime. Hurtt was the difference in the game, adding five points in the extra period to finish with 22 for the game.
Maurice McNeil and Darian Thibodeaux had strong performances for UH. McNeil led UH in scoring for the third straight game with 21 points in 24 minutes.
Thibodeaux played 43 minutes and contributed 15 points and four assists.
The Cougars — who are second in C-USA in 3-point percentage (.386) — were uncharacteristically dismal from downtown, hitting 2-15 attempts. For the second consecutive game, UH was able to get to the free-throw line 31 times, but again shot poorly, missing 10 shots.
Head coach James Dickey shuffled his starting lineup, sitting Adam Brown and Zamal Nixon and inserting Kirk Van Slyke and Nick Haywood.
The Cougars will attempt to snap their streak against Tulane (12-9, 2-6) in a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday at Hofheinz Pavilion.