Wednesday, February 13, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 92



Cougars blow away the Bulls

By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougars flexed their muscle, threw down explosive dunks and ran away from the South Florida Bulls on Tuesday, grabbing a commanding 91-75 victory, their most important of the season.

It was as if the stars aligned perfectly as the Cougars got significant contributions from Louis Truscott, Kevin Gaines, George Williams and Dominic Smith on the same night.

Truscott scored a career-high 27 points with seven rebounds; Gaines went four-for-six from the three-point line and dished a career-high nine assists; Williams finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks; and Smith was his usual consistent self, scoring 19 points.

Junior forward George Williams fires a jump shot as teammates Kevin Gaines and Louis Truscott look on. All three players had great games as the Cougars beat South Florida, 91-75.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

UH head coach Ray McCallum, beaming like a proud father, used words like "outstanding," "confident" and "strong" to describe his team's effort.

"I think Louis and Kevin showed what kind of competitors they are," McCallum said. "George had an outstanding all-around game. I thought we played the way we're capable of playing tonight. We got contributions from everyone tonight and when you get that, you look really good. I'm really pleased."

With the win, the Cougars (13-11 overall, 6-5 in Conference USA) moved back into a tie with South Florida (16-8, 6-5) for second place in Conference USA's National Division and fifth overall in the conference.

For the Bulls, Will McDonald scored 24 points with seven boards and sensational senior Altron Jackson, one of the nation's best players, scored 19.

The Cougars came out poised and energetic in the first half, jumping out to an early 29-20 lead, and took a 43-37 lead into halftime.

It was a different story in the second half as the Cougars came out flat, and the Bulls made it a close contest through the first 10 minutes.

But behind rim-rocking alley-oop dunks, thrilling outside shooting and solid ball-handling, the Cougars buried the Bulls from that point on to ensure the victory.

"We knew we could beat those guys down the floor," Williams said. "They had some holes in their defense and we took advantage."

It was a win the Cougars sorely needed to stay competitive in the conference. With five games remaining in the season, the Cougars needed all the confidence they could get.

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