Wednesday, February 27, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 102


 
 









 
 

Cougars pounded by Bulls

By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff

Life after Kevin Gaines began Tuesday for a depleted Houston squad as South Florida beat up the Cougars like a schoolyard bully
88-57 on Tuesday.


Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar


Freshman guard Brian Shelton had a breakout night, scoring 15 points. Shelton got his first start when four Cougars were serving their
suspension.

With starters Gaines, Dominic Smith and Louis Truscott and sixth man Marcus Oliver suspended for violating team rules, the Bulls took
advantage of the Cougars' utter lack of depth, ball-handling and scoring ability to keep UH at arm's length throughout the contest.

It didn't help matters that it was Senior Night for South Florida and the Bulls' top seniors, Altron Jackson and B.B. Waldon, put on a
show for the adoring fans.

Jackson, Conference USA's all-time leading scorer, finished with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Waldon added 26
points and eight boards.

The Bulls jumped out to a 30-16 lead with seven minutes in the first half and looked like they might put the game away early. But the
players who made up the six-man rotation for the Cougars battled hard and went to halftime down 42-30.

The second half was a completely different story. The Bulls punished the hapless Cougars and led by more than 20 for most of the
half. In the end, the Bulls' fans taunted the Cougars and cheered their team as the Bulls coasted to an easy victory.

Without his usual ball-handlers, UH head coach Ray McCallum was forced to play 6-8 junior forward George Williams at point guard.
The strategy didn't work as the Cougars turned the ball over a season-high 26 times.

On the bright side, freshman guard Bryan Shelton took advantage of his first start, scoring a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Senior center Patrick Okafor led the Cougars with 18 points and five rebounds and junior forward Jeremee McGuire finished with 10
points and eight boards. 

Senior swingman Terry Price added five points, and sophomore walk-on Julius Keys had three.

"We had some guys who really emerged tonight," McCallum said. "Bryan really played with poise and confidence. I think he's going to
grow and blossom from this."

The Cougars dropped to 15-13 overall, 8-7 in C-USA, while the Bulls moved to 18-10, 8-7 in C-USA. 

The teams each have one game remaining to decide who will get the fifth seed in the conference tournament next week.

McCallum has not yet announced whether Smith, Truscott and Oliver will rejoin the team for this Saturday's game after violating team
curfew last Saturday after a road loss to East Carolina. 

Gaines has been suspended for the season and remains in a Greenville, N.C., jail for allegedly assaulting a woman early Sunday
morning. Gaines is scheduled to appear in court March 13.
 
 
 
 
 

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