Men's Basketball

UH lays egg at UAB

Freshman forward Kendrick Washington, seen here against Southern Miss, continues his impressive play of late, leading the Cougars with 10 rebounds in UH’s 75-66 loss at UAB on Saturday. | Zuhair Siddiqui/The Daily Cougar

In keeping with this season’s hallmarks of inconsistency and frustrating losses, the Cougars found yet another way to lose Saturday.

Facing one of Conference USA’s surprise teams in UAB at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala., UH allowed the Blazers to jump out to an early 22-7 lead before staging rally after rally, only to fall 75-66 for its second straight loss.

Facing a 15-point deficit with 12:50 remaining in the first half, the Cougars (13-13, 5-7 C-USA) exploded for a 20-4 run to take a 27-26 lead with 3:29 remaining. The two teams traded buckets until intermission, and the Blazers (21-5, 9-3) took a 34-33 lead into the break.

The Cougars rode that momentum in the second half’s opening minutes and took a 42-40 lead after Aubrey Coleman’s 3-pointer and Maurice McNeil’s driving layup with 16:31 remaining. UAB’s Howard Crawford answered with a jumper to temporarily tie the game at 42, but UH came back, taking a 48-44 lead after back-to-back layups from McNeil. UH’s lead was short-lived as the Blazers used a 10-1 run to take a five-point lead with 10:59 left and never looked back.

For good measure, UAB’s Elijah Millsap took over, scoring seven of his game-high 22 points in the final 10 minutes to seal the victory for UAB. Millsap, the younger brother of Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap, did most of his damage at the free throw line going, 12-of-16 while pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds. His inside presence fueled UAB’s 22-10 advantage in points in the paint after halftime.

For the Cougars, Coleman led the way with 20 points, but was just 7-of-24 from the field. Zamal Nixon added 15 points, three assists and three steals off the bench, and McNeil chipped in with 12 points and eight boards. On a bright note, freshman Kendrick Washington continued his improved play with five points and a team-high 10 rebounds. It was the fifth consecutive game that Washington has set or tied his career high in rebounds.

The Cougars return home to take on the Memphis Tigers at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be UH’s second-to-last home game of the season.

Leave a Comment