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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003

Sports

UH blows lead in last 3 minutes

Cougar Sports Services

This might be the first time a group of college students was happy to leave New Orleans during Mardi Gras in the rearview mirror.

With roughly three minutes to go in Wednesdayis game at Tulane, the Houston Cougars were well on their way to beating the Green Wave to improve to 6-7 in-conference. But a six-point lead wasnit enough to hold off the Wave as the Cougars were outscored 10-0 in the final three minutes to lose 56-52 and fall to 7-17 (5-8 in Conference USA).

Tulane improved to 14-12 (7-6 in C-USA).

After suffering through some poor shooting performances, sophomore guard Andre Owens led the Cougars with 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting. He added four rebounds, three assists, one block and two three-pointers.

But it was a miss by Owens that allowed the Wave to break away after tying the game. With the Cougars down 54-52 with 55 seconds to go, Owens had a potential game-tying jumper blocked out of bounds. The Cougars got the rebound, but senior center Jeremee McGuire had another shot blocked and sophomore guard Bryan Shelton missed a three-pointer with 23 seconds to go.

UH staked a 26-21 lead at the half off the strength of Owensi shooting and senior forward Louis Truscottis hustle. Truscott contributed 12 rebounds and six rebounds, but the Wave came back in the second half and took a 40-38 lead with about 10 minutes to go. The Cougars regained the lead before the Waveis Ivan Pjevcevic hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 46 with 6:25 remaining.

But hustle got the Cougars their last lead. A layup by Truscott gave UH a 48-46 lead. Truscott then stole Tulaneis next possession and passed off to Owens. The guard missed the shot but retrieved his own rebound and drove in for a four-point lead.

Owens then nabbed the ball from the Wave and dunked it to give UH a 52-46 lead with 3:22 remaining. But the Wave held UH scoreless the rest of the way. Pjevcevic nailed a three-pointer to get the Wave within three at 52-49 and then gave it a 54-52 lead with another bomb at 55 seconds.

Truscottis errant three-point attempt that would have tied the game at 55 with seven seconds remaining was UHis final shot.

The Cougars return to Hofheinz Pavilion to face Texas Christian at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Horned Frogs are 8-18 (2-12 in C-USA).

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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