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Volume 68, Issue 102, Monday, February 24, 2003


Race for the tournament

Truscott hustles, Cougars blown out in second half

Cougar Sports Staff

Alabama-Birminghamis Gabe Kennedy missed a jumper allowing UH senior forward Louis Truscott to grab one of his 12 rebounds and pass it off to sophomore guard Andre Owens. Owens then found freshman forward Cedric Hensley open for a three-point attempt. Hensley drained it to give the Cougars a three-point lead Saturday in Birmingham, Ala.

Freshman guard Cedric Hensley scored the Cougarsi first points of Saturdayis 80-52 loss to Alabama-Birmingham. Hensley gave UH a 3-0 lead in the first minute of the game.

Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar

There was only one problem. There were still more than 38 minutes left to play.

The Blazers went on a 10-2 run in the next five minutes and closed out the first half leading 30-22. It only got worse as the Cougars lost the game 80-52 and fell to 7-16 and 5-7 in Conference USA.

Led by Morris Finleyis two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half, the Blazers expanded their lead to 16 at 38-22. The closest the Cougars would get after that was nine points. Truscott capped off a 9-2 run with a lay-up to get UH within 40-31 with 15:43 remaining.

But the Blazers went on a 13-0 run to go up by 22 at 53-31 with 11:14 remaining and put the game away. UAB hit 18-of-29 shots in the second frame and 46.6 percent for the game to UHis 32.1 percent.

Truscott had another double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 boards in 32 minutes, but take out his 5-of-8 shooting and the rest of the team shot 12-of-45. The Cougars werenit out-hustled -- they were dead even with the Blazers in rebounds (40 apiece) -- they were out-shot.

Hensley was the only other Cougar to finish with 10 or more points. The freshman scored 10 points in 25 minutes off 3-of-7 shooting (2-of-4 from three-point range). While Owens dished out three assists, he went just 1-of-9 from the field and committed 10 turnovers in 29 minutes.

While UHis 26 turnovers contributed to the Cougarsi woes Saturday, Finley was the key to UABis success. Five of his seven three-pointers came in the first half and he shot 7-of-10 from long range. All of his 21 points came from three-pointers.

The Cougars will travel to the Big Easy at 7 p.m. Wednesday to face Tulane in another conference match-up.

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