Monday, February 1, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 83

Uh shoots poorly, loses to UNC-Charlotte

Womenfinish 1st, men 2nd to LSU in UH Indoor Classic

About the Cougar

Turnovers contribute to another loss for Cougars

By Rohith Nandagiri
Sports Editor

All season, Gee Gervin has been seeing new defensive looks from teams. He has grown accustomed to it. After all, he is Conference USA's leading scorer and three-point shooter.

But in Saturday night's 82-67 loss to the South Florida Bulls, Gervin saw a new look -- he committed seven turnovers along with his 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists. 

"I take full responsibility for this loss, because I am the floor leader and I didn't get it done," Gervin said.

Conrad Turner/ The Daily Cougar

Gee Gervin and the Houston Cougars basketball team had a tough time against South Florida Saturday night.  Gervin finished with 23 points but had seven turnovers.

Head coach Clyde Drexler was disappointed in how his team fared against the 1-3-1 and diamond and two zone. "Their token zone took us out of our offense and cost us a bunch of opportunities to run with the ball," he said.

But the Cougars, now 7-12 overall and 2-7 in Conference USA, looked solid coming out of the gate. After two strong moves by forward William Stringfellow, the Cougars were out in front 5-2. UH was off and running and Gervin was leading the fast break with precision and speed, something sorely lacking in the second half. 

Houston held leads of six at 14-8 and 21-15, but could not extend the lead any further. The leads were due to the surprising play of Trey Austin. 

Austin had two key buckets in the early going, but was quiet the rest of the way with only six points. He also had five turnovers. The Cougars held a 33-30 lead going into the locker room, but that story was to change in the second half.

The Cougars were able to increase their lead to 35-30, but then let a huge 22-11 run reverse the lead in favor of the Bulls to 52-46. Following that, the Cougars never came closer than three and let the game slip away in the final 10 minutes.

Drexler said he felt his team did not come out with intensity.

"We were not aggressive, and we were not competitive. When you don't give the effort, it is disappointing," he said.

Drexler also pointed out that 12 steals to the Cougars' one and a 23-9 turnover ratio the Cougars. 

"That was the difference in the game," Drexler said.

South Florida came into the game with a streak of its own. The Bulls had suffered six consecutive losses -- not having won a game since Jan. 7 against Memphis. Head coach Seth Greenberg was happy to break the losing spell.

"We needed to win this one badly," he said. "I was proud of our guys because they played hard and they competed as a team. We made a decision before the game to take control of our team and take ownership back in our team. We did a good job of handling the pressure."

For the Bulls, Chonsey Asbury scored 19 points, but was only seven of 14 from the charity stripe. He was one of five Bulls who scored in double figures. B.B. Waldron (12), Cedric Smith (12 points, 13 rebounds), Artha Reeves (13) and Altron Jackson (11) provided balanced scoring for a very deep South Florida team. 

The Cougars, meanwhile, only had three players in double figures. Stringfellow had 10 points and 14 rebounds, but missed eight free throws.

Kenny Younger hit a pair of threes and finished with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

The Cougars never had a consistent post game. With South Florida's lack of interior size, it would have been nice to work the ball down low to either Younger or Stringfellow, but neither was given much of an opportunity to do anything inside.

"All we had to do was pass into the post, and (we) couldn't do it," Drexler said.

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