After jumping out to a 33-26 lead at the half, the Houston Cougars raised their conference record to 2-4 with a 66-61 win over the UAB Blazers in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday evening at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.
With the win, the Cougars ended a four-game losing streak and increased their record to 13-6 for the season.
The Cougars led by as many as nine points during the first half and saw TaShawn Thomas scoring 10 of his game high 17 points before the halftime break.
In the second half, Houston extended their lead to 13 points first at the 17:44 mark and again 1:36 later.
The Blazers began mounting a comeback by going on a 18-2 run to tie the score at 43-all at the 12:03 mark.
The lead changed back and forth until UAB’s Fahro Alihodzic hit a jumper with 5:28 remaining in the game to tie the score at 52.
The Cougars then got control of the ball and managed to hold onto and extend their lead five with four seconds left in the game.
Thomas also led all players with nine rebounds, followed by Leon Gibson with seven and Stiggers with four.
The Cougars also topped the Blazers in second chance points (9-6), points off turn-overs (13-11), and points scored in the paint (32-26).
UAB out-shot the Cougars on free throws (47.1%-45.3%) but were unable to keep pace with Houston from three-point range and the free throw line.
In both those stats, Houston can out on top (58.3%-38.1%) and (84.6%-83.3%), respectively.
For the Blazers, Jordan Swing scored 20 points, followed by Terrance Young with 14.
Houston will now have three days to prepare as they face Rice in a cross-town rival game on Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. CST tip-off.