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 Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Coogs edge UCF Knights, 88-84

Coogs shot 58.3% from the floor in the win
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Posted: February 9, 2014 -- 4:40pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Hofheinz Pavilion) -- The Houston Cougars did just enough right down the stretch to earn a victory Saturday afternoon, 88-84, over the UCF Knights.

The ball game was close throughout the entire game. The Knights' largest lead was 5 while the Coogs enjoyed a 10 point lead with 55 seconds remaining in the game. However, the Coogs didn't the finish the game well in the final 55 seconds which paved the way for the four point victory.

"We were up 10 with 55 seconds to go. I didn't like our defense," James Dickey, Coogs' head coach said after the game. "And it never should have been as close as it was. We should have been guarding the three-point line. We played too much matador defense."

Houston sophomore Danuel House scored a team-high 18 points (4 for 6 field goals, 2 for 3 3s, and 8 for 8 free throws) while Jherrod Stiggers scored 17 points off the bench (6 for 8 field goals, 5 for 7 3s).

The Cougars led 75-72 before TaShawn Thomas passed out of a swarming Knights' defense to a wide open Brandon Morris; and, Morris swished the three-point shot to give the Coogs a 78-72 lead with 2:26 remaining in the game. After Isaiah Sykes missed a jumper for the Knights, Thomas drew a double-team and kicked to an open House behind the top of the three-point line. House nailed the three for an 81-72 lead with just 82 seconds left in the game.

Thomas struggled to make shots (3 for 11 field goals); but, those two key assists were part of his five assists in the game.

The first half was a see-saw contest which saw the Knights dominate the Coogs on the glass (23-12) -- including 12 offensive rebounds. The largest lead of the half was only five points. The Knights shot 48.5% (16 for 33) from the field in the opening 20 minutes while the Coogs shot 51.7% (15 for 29).

The game was tied at 42 at halftime.

The Cougars shot a blistering 68.4% (13 for 19 field goals) in the second half.

With the win, the Coogs' record improves to 5-9 in the American Athletic Conference and 13-14 overall. The Knights fall to 2-12 in conference and 10-15 overall.

CLICK HERE for The HRR's write-ups of Coogs' men's hoops games.

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