Houston suffers first conference loss of season to Tulsa
The Cougars’ six-game winning streak was snapped in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the team suffered its first conference loss of the season when it was defeated by the Golden Hurricane 63-61 on Saturday afternoon.
The game began with the Golden Hurricane jumping out to a 5-0 lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers from redshirt freshman guard Caleb Mills and sophomore guard Quentin Grimes got the Cougars on the scoreboard.
Tulsa built as much as a six-point lead in the first half when they led 24-18 at the 9:00 mark, but Houston finished the half strong, outscoring Tulsa 16-10 from that moment onward to go into the half with a three-point lead.
Mills was still in an offensive groove following his 23-point performance on Tuesday against Temple.
The 6-3 guard had 13 points at halftime. Sophomore guard DeJon Jarreau broke out of his offensive struggles with 10 half-time points.
In the second half, Houston jumped on Tulsa out of the gates, building as much as an eight-point lead, but the Golden Hurricane did not allow the game to get out of reach, answering with a 10-0 run to re-take the lead.
The game was neck-and-neck from that point onward as each team exchanged turns taking a lead and tying the game.
The game became sloppy at the 8:03 mark after a pair of free-throws from Mills made the game 56-54. The score was stuck there for over two minutes of game time. Both teams combined for four turnovers during the stretch.
A pair of free-throws from Jarreau and a jump shot make on two-straight possessions gave the Cougars a six-point lead, and finally moved the scoreboard, but like they did all game long, the Golden Hurricane rallied, ending the game on a 9-1 run.
The game was ultimately decided by two free-throws after junior center Brison Gresham fouled Rachal. He made both free-throws, which gave Tulsa a 63-61 lead.
Houston got two chances to tie or win the game, including a play following a timeout that gave Mills a wide-open 3-point attempt, but he stepped out of bounds before the shot.
Sasser got the final chance at the lead following a missed free-throw from Tulsa, but he missed his potential go-ahead 3-pointer, and Tulsa survived with the 63-61 win.
Tulsa was led by junior guard Darien Jackson, who had 19 points.
Mills led all scorers with 22 points. Jarreau added in 16 points, and freshman guard Marcus Sasser also had 14 points, but these three players were the majority of the offense for Houston as everyone else on the team combined for only nine points.
The Cougars return home to take on the interstate rival Mustangs on Wednesday night at Fertitta Center.