Aztecs too strong for
By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff
Cougar forward Jeremee McGuire returned
to his hometown of San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday looking to make a strong
statement in his first game in the city since his high school days.
Kevin Harwerth/The Daily
Junior forward Jeremee McGuire
slams the ball. Against San Diego State, McGuire had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite a shaky start, McGuire scored
18 points, pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and blocked five shots,
total of the season. But his sparkplug
performance wasn't enough, as the Cougars fell 78-66 to the San Diego State
With senior guard Dominic Smith out with
an injury to tissue in his knee, UH head coach Ray McCallum experimented
new starting lineup, but with a lack of
depth, the experiment failed to be fruitful.
Six-foot, eight-inch George Williams, who
typically starts for the Cougars as power forward, started at the shooting
position next to point guard Kevin Gaines.
Louis Truscott started at his usual small forward spot.
Patrick Okafor, usually Houston's center,
moved into Williams' power forward position and McGuire began the game
It was McGuire's first start as a Cougar
and he took advantage of the opportunity, but received little help from
Truscott, who can almost be counted on
to score a double-double every game, finished with 19 points and 10 boards.
But the rest of the team never could get
it together, with Williams managing only six points, Okafor five and Gaines
The Cougars dropped their second in a row
to fall to 11-9 overall. The Aztecs moved to 12-8 on the season.
The Aztecs roared out to an early 17-2
lead and continued to pour it on until the resurgent Cougars made a run
to close out
the first half down 34-28.
The Cougars got off to a sluggish start
in the second half, a problem they have endured all season, and the Aztecs
back of Tony Bland, whose performance
was anything but bland.
San Diego State built up a huge lead, and
the Cougars never managed to get closer than 10 points the rest of the
"The win was extremely significant," Aztecs
head coach Steve Fisher said. "Far from perfect, but it was what we had
and what we needed desperately, so we'll
Bland finished with a career-high 33 points
and six rebounds going 12-of-19 from the field, and Randy Holcomb added
points and seven boards.
Because it was a non-conference contest,
the loss did not affect Houston's second-place standing in Conference USA's
National Division. South Florida, which
is tied with Houston for the runner-up spot, also played a non-conference
The Cougars will now head back home to
take on Charlotte at 7 p.m. Saturday. Smith is listed as probable for that