Ford steps up as Coogs
fall to USF, 79-60
By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff
UH freshman center Alton Ford finally had
his coming-out party Saturday. Unfortunately for the Cougars, his teammates
must not have received the invitations.
The men's team traveled to Tampa, Fla.,
to face a talented South Florida squad that didn't take kindly to strangers
in their home, beating the Cougars 79-60. With the win, USF moved to 11-1
at home, 16-9 overall and 8-4 in Conference USA, a record good enough to
move the Bulls back into a tie with Memphis atop the National Division.
Freshman center Alton Ford
played up to his potential with a 19-point performance in a loss at South
Florida on Saturday.
The Daily Cougar
Ford, one of UH's most highly prized recruits,
scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds in 38 minutes
before fouling out with 2:54 remaining in regulation.
George Williams added 12 points and seven
rebounds, Bernard Smith had 10 points off the bench and Dominic Smith scored
a below-average seven points. Houston's other starter, Marcus Oliver, played
only four minutes, leaving the game early due to a bout of flu.
On the other sideline, the stats were impressive.
Junior Altron Jackson threw in 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds while
junior B.B. Waldon contributed an important 18 points and 13 boards.
Freshman center Gerrick Morris had 12 points
and eight rebounds and Reggie Kohn came off the bench to score eight points
and five assists.
"It was a very difficult challenge for
us," UH head coach Ray McCallum said. "It was tough for us to match up
against Jackson and Waldon. Their experience really showed."
The Cougars had 16 turnovers compared to
USF's 12, a number that McCallum was understandably unhappy with.
"We had way too many turnovers," McCallum
said. "We're not going to win on the road with those kinds of numbers."
If there was a bright spot for UH, it was
Ford, who has been asserting himself more lately and playing with more
control and intensity.
"He really competed," McCallum said. "I
told him to keep working hard and something good would happen. His patience
The Cougars shot 19-for-48 from the field
for a dismal 39.6 percent. South Florida fared better, going 29-for-60
for 48.3 percent shooting and three-for-six from the three-point stripe.
Down 33-22 at halftime, the Cougars were
able to pull within six, 39-33 with 15:39 remaining. That's as close as
they ever got.
"We had some success but we just ran out
of gas at the end," McCallum said. "We'll watch some film on St. Louis
and hopefully get a win at home Monday."
St. Louis (13-11, 5-6 C-USA) brings its
4-7 road record to Hofheinz Pavilion Monday at 7 p.m. The Billikens, led
by Matt Baniak, Maurice Jeffers and Marque Perry, are in fifth place in
the American Division.
The Cougars have five games remaining before
the C-USA Tournament begins March 7, three of which will take place at
home. To match last season's regular season record of 8-21, the Cougars
must win three of their last five.