Cougars’ road woes continue
Despite a career-high performance from sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas and 25 points from redshirt sophomore guard Joseph Young, UH fell in a triple-overtime thriller to the Tulsa on Saturday.
The Cougars were victims of their own slow start, allowing Tulsa to jump out to an 11-2 lead. There were two separate three-minutes stretches in the first half in which UH did not register a field goal, scoring only from the free-throw line, if at all.
The Cougars managed to keep the Golden Hurricanes within striking distance throughout most of the first half with forceful attacking from the guards, leading to offensive rebounding and free throws. Young was 10-10 from the line in the first half, before going on to register 12 makes on 14 attempts from the line for career-bests in both categories by the final buzzer.
The Cougars developed a sense of urgency in the closing minutes of the first half, ending it on a 12-2 run. Young tied things up at 28 apiece with a 90 free-throw-line spin-move and a jumper that quieted the crowd of 4,939, giving the Cougars some momentum heading into the second half of play.
Young’s aggressive driving in the second half opened up lanes to the basket for Thomas, who took full advantage, scoring a career-best 31 points on 13-22 shooting.
Thomas played well Saturday, but not just in scoring. He nabbed 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals and had three blocks. This game is Thomas’ 10th double-double of the season and leaves him less than half a rebound per game shy of averaging a double-double for the season.
“I despise the way the game turned out from our end,” said head coach James Dickey, “but I’m proud of our guys and how they competed. They left it all on the court.”
The Cougars’ moment of the game came from redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers at the end of regulation. With the Cougars down by three, and with only two seconds remaining to play, Stiggers picked off an inbounds pass and launched an off-balance, one-footed 3-pointer from a few feet behind the top of the key, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net and knotting things up at 70 apiece.
The Cougars kept pace for two overtimes, but with their three top guards fouled out by the final five-minute period, they eventually succumbed 101-92. The Cougars, now 4-7 in Conference USA, will look to rebound against Memphis on the road at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the FedEx Forum.