The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
Coogs' 6-game winning streak snapped in 88-82 loss to Cincinnati
Posted: January 10, 2018 -- 11:00 pm CST.
HOUSTON, TX (H&PE Arena) -- The Houston Cougars have been the "Cardiac Coogs" numerous times in the 2017-'18 season. The Cougars had won six of games this season when trailing by at least eight points (five when trailing by double-digits). Wednesday night, the Cardiac Coogs spotted the Cincinnati Bearcats a 10 point lead early in the fourth quarter; but, the Coogs were unable to continue the come-from-behind and win magic as the Bearcats earned the 88-82 victory.
Final stats: Cincinnati 88, Houston 82.
With the loss, Houston's record falls to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati's record improves to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in the AAC.
"They (Cincinnati) played like a team that wanted to win," said Houston Head Coach Ronald Hughey after the game. "We didn't play with enough energy and effort. We didn't play together as a team. Some things we have to be able to rectify. Some film and practice over the next couple of days to get ready for a UConn team (this Saturday at 2 p.m.)."
"I have no reason why they didn't play with a lot of energy and effort tonight; but, again, once we get there and see the film and see the breakdown then we'll make the adjustments." Hughey added.
Defense should be an adjustment. The Bearcats shot 52.4% (33 for 63) from the floor in tonight's game. In the first three quarters, the Bearcats made 28 of 50 field goal attempts. Cincinnati shot 50 plus percent in each of the first three quarters.
To put the Bearcats shooting success versus the Coogs in perspective: in the Bearcats first 3 games in AAC play this season, the Bearcats averaged 54.3 points and had a field goal percentage of 34.7% (61- for 176). Sixty-one baskets in 3 games for an average of 20.3 baskets per game.
Tonight, the Bearcats made 33 baskets.
Houston scored the first 4 points of the ball game; but, Cincinnati tied the game at 8 and led 24-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The Coogs trailed by as much as eight points (31-23) in the second quarter; however, with 2:57 remaining in the second period, the Coogs trailed 37-30. Jasmyne Harris scored 8 of Houston's final 10 points to erase the deficit and give the Coogs a 40-39 lead with 13 seconds remaining in the opening half.
However, Cincinnati's Ana Owens scored a driving lay-up to beat the buzzer and put Cincinnati ahead 41-40 at halftime. Owens' lay-up typified the first half: the Bearcats' success on offense and the Coogs' struggles on defense.
The first few minutes of the third quarter were close. Neither team led by more than four points before Houston took a 48-47 lead at the 6:49 mark of the quarter.
Cincinnati scored 5 points in a row for a 52-48 Bearcats' lead. The lead grew to 9 points (69-60) at the end of the third quarter.
Cincinnati scored the first point of the fourth quarter; but, the Coogs scored seven consecutive points to trim the Bearcats' lead to 70-67 with 6:18 remaining in the ball game. Cincinnati responded with a 7-2 burst to boost the lead to 77-69 with 4:24 on the clock.
The Coogs were able to pull within five points down the stretch; however, the Bearcats made free throws and timely baskets to seal the win and end the Coogs' 6-game winning streak.
Houston faces number 1 ranked UConn, Saturday, January 13, at 2 p.m. inside H&PE Arena.