By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 21, 2010) Leaving the court at halftime trailing by three points, the Houston Cougars (7-5, 0-0 C-USA) came back, winning a close game, 75-73 over the Sam Houston Bearkats (6-4, 0-0 SLC) at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.
This game gave the Cougars a 2-0 record this season over the Bearkats, extending their lead over Sam Houston to 26-6 all-time.
Houston beat the Bearkats 75-71 on December 4 in Huntsville, with the game decided in overtime.
Rebounding and free throws were the key to the game, with Houston hitting 17 of 30 from the line, while the Bearkats hit 20 of 28.
Adam Brown led the Cougars with 21 points and six rebounds, while Maurice McNeil chipped in 18 with nine boards.
Rebounding was again a problem for the Cougars, with three players; McNeil, Brown and Kendrick Washington (six rebounds) accounting for 21 of Houston’s 34 total rebounds.
The Cougars could manage only eight offensive rebounds, with McNeil, Brown and Washington accounting for seven of the eight.
The Cougars must hit the offensive boards with more aggressiveness if they want to survive their upcoming C-USA matchups beginning January 5.
Southern Mississippi is averaging 45.4 rebounds per game, which is ranked fourth in the nation while Marshall has a 40.9 average per game.
The Cougars will play Southern Mississippi at Home on January 5, while having to wait until February 1 to meet Marshall.
The Cougars will have off until December 26, when Houston head coach James Dickey stated his players would be back in Houston for practice.
The Cougars will next face Rogers State on December 30 with a 6:00pm start. This will be their last non-conference game before kicking off the C-USA schedule on January 5 against Mississippi State.
The Bearkats will next face Air Force on December 28 in El Paso at the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, followed by Western New Mexico on December 29.