Second-half rally not enough in Houston’s loss to Oklahoma State
Down 16 at the half, the Houston Cougars mounted a second half comeback, but their efforts ultimately fell short as they lost 61-55 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at Fertitta Center.
Oklahoma State got off to a fast start, going on a 9-2 run in the first four minutes of the game.
Houston would answer back led by sophomore Nate Hinton who hit three 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to give the Cougars an 11-9 with 13 minutes left in the half.
The teams went go back-and-forth, trading basket after basket.
Freshman Marcus Sasser answered an Oklahoma State 3-pointer with one of his own to put the Cougars back on top.
The teams traded baskets for a couple more minutes. But after it was all said and done, Oklahoma State led 19-16 midway through the first half.
The Cowboys blew the game open, outscoring the Cougars 16-3 over the final nine minutes of the half.
Houston’s offense went cold over this stretch and failed to score in the last 7:29 of the half. After one half, Oklahoma State led 35-19.
The Cougars shot 23.3 percent from the field in the first half while the Cowboys shot an outstanding 50 percent from the field in the half.
Down 16 going into the second half, Houston did not hang their heads down low but rather came out of the locker room ready to fight back.
Redshirt freshman Caleb Mills caught fire, going 5-5 from the field and scoring 13 points over the first 7 minutes into the second half to help the Cougars cut the Cowboys lead down to 7 with 13 minutes left in the game.
Marcus Sasser hit a 3-pointer and then converted a three-point play via a layup and free throw to cut the Cougars deficit down to five.
Thanks to Mills and Sasser’s offensive explosion, Oklahoma State led only 45-40 with nine minutes remaining in the game.
The Cougars crawled all the way back and erased their 16 point first half deficit when Caleb Mills hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 50 with 3:40 remaining.
With 2:28 left, Oklahoma State senior Lindy Waters hit a clutch three to give the Cowboys a 55-51 lead.
Oklahoma State held off Houston over the final minutes of the game and won 61-55.
Caleb Mills was Houston’s top performer, scoring 23 points. Nate Hinton also added 11 points and nine rebounds,
The Cougars drop to 6-3 with the loss on the season but look to bounce back Thursday evening when they take on UTEP at Fertitta Center.