UH falls to Villanova in the Elite Eight
SAN ANTONIO — Houston’s road ended one win short of reaching its second consecutive Final Four, as the No. 5 seed Cougars failed to get past 2-seed Villanova in the South Regional final Saturday night in AT&T Center, falling 50-44.
It appeared as if there was a lid on the rim all night for UH as the Cougars could not buy a basket. UH started off ice-cold from the field, hitting just one of its first nine shots.
The Wildcats enforced their will early on, building up a quick 9-2 lead and giving the Cougars their first deficit since they trailed in early minutes against Illinois in the round of 32.
Trailing 21-10 after a 5-minute, 22-second scoring drought, UH finally began to show some life. Senior forward Fabian White Jr. scored in the post followed by a two-handed slam from senior center Josh Carlton.
Poor shooting combined with the lack of offensive boards prevented UH from inching much closer to the Villanova lead, as the Cougars finished the first half shooting 30.8 percent from the field, including 0 for 8 from 3-point range, and went into the locker room trailing 27-20.
UH was much more active on the offensive glass to start the second half. A 3 from graduate guard Taze Moore off an offensive rebound followed by a layup from senior guard Kyler Edwards, his first points of the game, cut the deficit to five points.
The Wildcats answered with an 8-2 run to increase its lead back up to double-digits.
UH responded with an 11-2 run, powered by eight points from Moore, to cut the Villanova lead to two with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. Moore notched a double-double, finishing the game with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds.
That was as close to the lead as UH would get.
UH finished a mere 29.8 shooting from the field, including 1 for 20 from 3.
The Cougars trailed from start to finish.