HOUSTON (AP) – After hitting a jumper with 17 seconds left to give the Houston Cougars a one-point lead over the Texas Longhorns, Danuel House said his first thought was to get a stop.
The Cougars did just that.
House scored 11 points, including the game-winner, to give Houston a 73-72 win over Texas Wednesday night in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
Julien Lewis missed a jumper with 4 seconds remaining that would have given Texas the lead, and Ioannis Papapetrou had the rebound stolen by Jherrod Stiggers to seal the win for Houston.
“We can’t ask for a better shot,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “We executed. We got exactly what we wanted. You just have to take it and if you miss it, you miss it.”
Houston coach James Dickey said he told his team during the timeout before the final shot they just needed to get one stop.
“We worked all year, and we just wanted to get the stop, get the stop,” Dickey said. “I thought we did enough to alter the shot. We didn’t get the rebound, but they had to run a long ways to get it. We really got after it and continued to play. It was a good win for us.”
Joseph Young led Houston (20-12) with 18 points, and TaShawn Thomas had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Lewis had a career-high 27 points to lead Texas (16-18), and Myck Kabongo added 17 points.
“Obviously, it’s a disappointment,” Barnes said of the season ending. “You can go back and play the what- if game, but you are what you are. We ended up being 16 and 18. We can go back and say this and that, but it was the same mistakes. I thought we were getting some momentum going.”
Houston will play at George Mason in the quarterfinals of the CBI on Monday.
After trailing 71-66 with 3:29 remaining, Texas retook the lead at 72-71 with 52 seconds left on two free throws by Kabongo.
Houston regained the lead with an 11-0 run over a 1:36 stretch, capped by a dunk and a free throw by Leon Barnes to give the Cougars a 58-56 lead and followed by a 3-pointer by Young to extend the lead to 61-56 with 4:30 left.
Texas started the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 38-37 lead on a Lewis 3-pointer with 17:34 left in the second half. The Longhorns extended its lead to 55-49 with a 9-2 run capped by two free throws by Lewis with 8:55 remaining in the game.
Houston led 37-31 at the half thanks to a 3-pointer by Young before the halftime buzzer. Young led the Cougars with 12 first half points.
Texas started the game by missing its first six shots and opened 1 for 9 from the floor.
Houston used a 16-4 run over a four minute span of the first half to open up a 22-11 lead after five straight points by Young, capped by a jumper with 11:36 left in the first half.
The Cougars went cold over the final eight minutes of the first half, missing 13 straight shots over a 7:49 span, allowing Texas to climb to within three at 34-31 on Prince Ibeh’s dunk with 26 seconds remaining in the half.
House said the Cougars were trying to send a message early, and they did that with an alley-oop dunk by Houston for the first points of the game.
“Coach (Dickey) has told us the game of basketball is a game of runs,” House said. “We knew that if we punched them in the mouth early, we could sustain their run. They made their run, and we made our run.”
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