After returning only two players from last year, Thursday night's exhibition against the Houston Flight was to be a good test for the young Cougars.
The game was close throughout, but the Flight was victorious 86-85.
UH had a chance to win in the closing seconds. With the Cougars trailing by a point, UH had the ball for the final 31 seconds. The ball was inbounded after a timeout and freshman Kenny Younger attempted a running one-hander from just inside the free throw line. The attempt was blocked out of bounds with 12 seconds to play.
The Cougars then ran a play through Younger again. This time, Younger hit the side of the rim and missed. Senior Shamahn McBride ended up with the loose ball and missed a five-footer from the left baseline, which ended up in Flight hands as time expired.
At the half the Cougars were tied at 40 with a Houston Flight team which was led by Michael Christian who scored 31 points. Also, Rodney McCray, an ex-Rocket, scored 24.
Junior point guard Roy Spears ignited the Cougar offense in the first half scoring 16 points, while senior Galen Robinson had 10 points and seven rebounds. Spears finished with 20 points and Robinson finished with 24. The Cougars shot 40 percent from the field.
Spears, who played in his first game as a Cougar, said this team has a lot to improve on. "We played all right, and it was the first night so we were kind of scared. In the first half we did not know what to expect so we did not play that well, but in the second half, we knew what they had and we played with a lot of intensity."
The Cougars implemented their new full-court game on many occasions trying to out-run their older opponents. The Cougars forced 23 turnovers from a team of ex-NBA and CBA players. UH coach Alvin Brooks thought that the full court game was instrumental. "The pressure is better and it showed tonight."