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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Men's Basketball

Cougars’ overtime rally falls short

Forty minutes wasn’t enough time to decide a winner.

After 12 ties in regulation between the University of Houston and Louisiana-Lafayette, a close contest continued into overtime. Fueled by 31 points from Louisiana guard Elfrid Payton, the Ragin’ Cajuns (7-3) defeated the Cougars (7-5) 79-76 on Saturday at the Cajundome.

The Cougars have struggled away from Hofheinz Pavilion with a 1-4 record during road or neutral contests.

UH got off to a hot offensive start, shooting 72 percent from the field and hitting all three of its 3-pointers, leading to an eight-point halftime advantage, but it wasn’t enough. Early in the second half, the Ragin’ Cajuns evened the score at 45 after back-to-back 3-pointers.

The two teams traded leads until the end of regulation. Payton hit one of two free throws with three seconds remaining to tie the game at 69 and force overtime.

Louisiana took control early in overtime with a 7-0 run to begin the period. The Cougars responded to cut the lead to one on junior forward TaShawn Thomas’ dunk with 13 seconds remaining. After an intentional foul, Payton’s two made free throws gave Louisiana its eventual margin of victory. A 3-point attempt by sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers fell short at the buzzer.

Thomas’ 27 points, seven blocks and six rebounds led the Cougars in each category. Redshirt freshman forward Danrad Knowes finished with 16 points.

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