The Cougars come up short against Aggies
For majority of the game, Texas A&M kept UH at an arm’s length.
The Cougars made runs in both the first and second half but the Aggies had a response each time and picked up a 70-59 victory against UH.
Though the Cougars never led, they pulled within one when redshirt freshman guard Jherod Stiggers hit a 3-pointer, bringing the game to 12-11 with 12:47 remaining in the first half. Rapidly, Aggie senior forward Ray Turner hit a bucket, senior forward Elston Turner knocked down three points and redshirt sophomore Kourtney Robertson hit a layup and the Cougars trailed 19-11.
Eventually, the Aggies led by 18 at halftime.
In the second half, Stiggers hit a 3-pointer with four minutes remaining that brought the deficit to eight, forcing A&M to take a timeout. The crowd at Hofheinz exploded, sensing new life in the Cougars.
Turner responded with a clutch 3-pointer that silenced the crowd by giving the Aggies a double-digit lead, again. Turner’s 26 points is a career high but the timing of his points was more important than the final number.
The halftime deficit was too much for the Cougars to overcome.
Sophomore guard J.J Thompson said UH wasn’t tough enough in the first half to come away with a victory. Thompson finished with a career-high, 16 points.
Freshman forward Danuel House finished with 10 points but didn’t shoot well from the field (2-6). He was 0-4 on 3-point attempts. Redshirt sophomore guard Joseph Young finished with seven points (2-9 from the field) and hit only 1-4 3-point shots.
The Cougars shot 33 percent from the field before the break and allowed the Aggies to shoot 61 percent.
The Aggies were more proficient on the boards too. They had the same number of total defensive rebounds, 26, as the Cougars. On the offensive glass, A&M had double the number of offensive rebounds.
Head basketball coach James Dickey said the Cougars needed to stop settling for jumpers and get the ball into the paint.
UH played better in the second half but it was too late, he said. The Cougars also committed turnovers at critical times. But they got the ball into the paint by feeding sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas and senior forward Leon Gibson.
The Cougar defense has improved. UH held A&M to 33 percent shooting in the second half.
The Cougars were within seven after the break, but in the end, a win was just out of reach.