At halftime of their game Sunday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavillion, the University of Houston Men’s Basketball Team held a six-point lead over SMU. In the game’s first 20 minutes, the Cougars held the Mustangs to 25 points on 27 percent shooting while forcing nine turnovers, but then things changed.
“They came out and punched us in the mouth in the second half, and we didn’t respond the right way,” Houston sophomore guard Danuel House said.
In the second half, SMU shot close to 62 percent and didn’t turn the ball over on it’s way to a 50-point half in a 75-68 win, dropping Huston to 11-9 this season, 3-4 in American Athletic Conference play.
“In the second half, they were moving a lot faster than us,” Houston junior forward TaShawn Thomas said. “Their offense was moving faster than our defense. Any time that happens, then they’re going to get shots.”
SMU’s second half attack was led by it’s leading scorer Nic Moore, who the Cougars were able to hold to six points on 1-of-9 shooting in the first half. After halftime the sophomore went off for 19 and only missed two of nine shots.
“Moore did a great job getting open, and getting the shots that he did. Thomas said”
Thomas finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, good for his eighth double-double of the season, but the Cougars were led by House’s 22 points off the bench after scoring four points Thursday night in a loss to Memphis.
“I was proud of our guys,” Houston head coach James Dickey said. “They really prepared well in a short time. They approached the game in a very positive way.”
The loss is Houston’s fourth in five games, and it marks the first time they’ve been below .500 in conference play. The schedule takes a tough turn with road games at Connecticut and Rutgers, and the Cougars won’t play at Hofheinz again until February 5, when defending national champion Louisville comes to town.
“We’ve got some talented players, and our record needs to be better, Dickey said. “That falls on me. I just want our guys to continue to play hard. We have to play for 40 minutes.”Follow @AdamSpolane
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