Despite career scoring highs by Jherrod Stiggers and Brandon Morris, the Houston Cougars men’s basketball team could not overcome a late game surge by San Jose State; falling to the Spartans by the score of 72-68 in front of 3,105 fans at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
The Cougars, who lead by 13 points with 8:38 remaining in the game, were outscored 25-8 to close out the game, and as a result, dropped their second game in a row and four of their last five.
Rebounding was an issue in the loss, with no Cougar pulling down more than five boards.
Head coach James Dickey addressed the lack of rebounding in the post-game press conference:
“We were standing around too much. We knew that they were going to play soft and collapse. That’s the way they play. They were going to play the gaps. You can’t fall into that trap, and we did. I just didn’t do a good enough job getting our guys moving and popping. We stood around, and as a result we got tentative and, that’s what that defense is designed to do. I didn’t prepare our guys as well as I needed to.”
Offensively, the Cougars shot 49.7% from the field and scored only 27 points in the second half.
The Spartans, on the other hand shot near 50% from the field (48.9%), while making 93% of their free throws.
Stiggers, who was 6-of-14 from the field, scored a career high 20 points and was 4-of-4 in free throws.
Morris contributed 17 points, along with five rebounds and three steals.
TaShawn Thomas, who was honored prior to the game as the newest member of the 1,000-Point Club, scored 10 points.
With the loss, the Cougars fall to 6-4 for the season and will return to action on Monday, December 9, 2013 when they face Alcorn State with a 6:30 p.m. tip-off at Hofheinz.