|Thursday, January 27, 2000||
Volume 65, Issue 82
|Late effort not
enough for UH to overcome deficit
By Josh Gajewski
If the UH basketball team can ever find a way to put two halves together, it might just have something.
The team continued its troubling trend Wednesday night, falling behind South Florida by 18 at halftime and out-scoring the Bulls 40-32 after intermission.
It was too little, too late once again, as USF remained unbeaten at home and took sole possession of second place in Conference USA's National Division with an 87-77 win over the Cougars.
USF jumped out to an early 14-7 lead as the Bulls' 1-3-1 defense gave Clyde Drexler's bunch fits early on.
UH soon recovered, taking a 22-20 lead with 11:59 to play in the half, sparked by the play of Gee Gervin and George Williams, who finished with 29 and eight points, respectively.
But the remainder of the half went the Bulls' way.
USF used seemingly-perfect three-point shooting to take a commanding 55-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half was a different story for the Cougars, who jumped out of the gate on a 12-4 run that included five-of-eight shooting to start the second half.
UH used the inspired play of 265-pound Early Smith, who pounded his way in the paint en route to eight points and six rebounds, despite being limited to short increments on the floor because of his still-tender right knee.
Smith's put-back with 9:50 to play brought the Cougars to within six points at 66-59.
Torrence Botts also caught fire for UH. His outside shooting, and the Cougars' man-to-man defense, closed the gap to within five at one point in the game, but that's as close as it would get.
Foul trouble continued to plague the Cougars in this game as both Williams and Kenny Younger picked up their fourth fouls in the second half. That seemed to take the wind out of UH's sail late in the game, and USF prevailed by the 10-point final.
UH will try again Saturday, when the Cougars travel to New Orleans to
wrap up their three-game road swing against Tulane.
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