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Volume 8, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Mirror Images

Houston edges very similar Islander team 

Chris Elliott
Breaking News

Junior forward Jahmar "Dunk Master Flex" Thorpe was at the right place at the right time last Saturday, as his put-back with three seconds left in regulation sent their game against the A&M Corpus Christi Islanders into overtime. After Lanny Smith drove the length of the court and attempted to tie the game with a lay-up, Thorpe got the miss and capitalized off the second-chance opportunity.

In a game with room for very few mistakes, neither team seemed to be able to one up the other until the second overtime.

"It was like playing a mirror image of ourselves," senior forward Brian Latham said. "They play like we do."



Ramon Dyer shot 5-8 from the behind the arc. His efforts propelled the Cougars past A&M Corpus Christi in double overtime.
Gregory Bohuslav/Breaking News
Latham finished the night with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals, and though his two missed shots from the charity stripe could have prevented a second overtime, his 41 minutes played were as valuable as anyone's. 

In very fast-paced and physical chest match, the Islanders seemed to be lacking two important pieces, senior forward Ramon Dyer and Dunk Master Flex

The Dunk Master did not actually live up to his name Saturday, but his shot from just inside the arc with 23.5 seconds remaining in the second overtime would be the determining factor in Houston's win over the Islanders, and Ramon Dyer's performance, and defense, kept the team in the game long enough to grasp the 86-83 victory over A&M Corpus Christi. 

His 19 points all came at the most opportune moments for the cougars.

UH entered the second half down 30-33. After a barrage of three-pointers from senior guard Aaron White of the Islanders, and a second half explosion by the seven-foot big man junior center Chris Daniels, Houston found themselves trailing 51-41 with 14:29 left in regulation.

But, as usual, they found a way to claw and fight their way back into the game. While in the midst of a 14-2 run, which would give the cougars a 55-53 lead with 10:15 left in regulation, Latham and his terrorizing defense forced a turnover. While trying to convert a lay-up off the fast break, he was flagrantly fouled by junior guard Josh Ervin. He hit the two free-throws and on the ensuing possession, Dyer knocked down one of his five three-pointers of the game. 

"We needed Ramon to step up," Coach Tom Penders said. "And he finally stepped up."

Dyer received recognition from Conference USA regarding his performance. The senior forward was named Conference USA player of the week. To accompany his 19 points, Dyer also added five rebounds and two blocks. 

On an off-shooting night, Smith still had 13 points and 9 assists, and admitted after the game how much he enjoyed the stiff competition.

"It tests your heart and your character," Smith said. "If you're any kind of real player, you love situations like this." 

The cougars will take a trip down to Autry for their season opener against Rice. The Owls have had the Cougars number over the last couple of years. This season, however, Houston's athleticism and defense will prove to be a test for just how good the 7-7 Owls are.
 

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http://www.stp.uh.edu/bn0506/011106/sports/sports1.html
 

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