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Volume 6, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

UH searching for some offense

Breaking News Sports Staff

The UH's men's basketball team has played solid defense, done well on the boards and has played tough down the stretch.

But the Cougars just can't put the ball in the basket.

Houston has only one win in four games so far this season, much of which has to do with the team's inability to shoot and distribute the basketball. The Cougars are 1-3, but they could easily be 2-2 or 3-1 if they had been able to play at an average level on offense and hit a respectable percentage of their free throws.

Only Texas-El Paso (5-1), which beat Houston 88-61 on Dec. 8, was able to completely overmatch the Cougars. Rice (4-2) beat the Cougars 62-52 on Dec. 3, but UH helped the Owls by shooting just 30 percent from the field in the second half.

Against East Tennessee State, a team that qualified for the 2003 NCAA Tournament, the Cougars shot 28.6 percent from the field and hit only four-of-13 free throw attempts. ETSU won the game 65-51.

Overall this season, UH is hitting only 34 percent of its field goal attempts. Its free throw percentage has been even worse, as the Cougars are shooting only 38 percent from the line. Junior guard Andre Owens, averaging 18.25 points per game, is the only Cougar averaging double figures in points.

Turnovers were the biggest problem for the Cougars last season, as the team committed more than 17 turnovers per game. This season, Houston isn't doing much better, averaging 16.5 turnovers per game.

The Cougars may be giving away the ball too much, but they aren't giving it up enough. The team averages a paltry seven assists per game. That's a sure sign the offense isn't being run the way it was drawn up.

But the team's performing better than expected on defense and is rebounding well. The Cougars know the shots will eventually begin to fall. When they do, Houston should be a tough team to handle.

UH will try to get the offense back on track when it faces Bethune-Cookman at 7:30 p.m. today at Hofheinz Pavilion. Admission is free to UH students.

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