The Cincinnati Bearcats rally back in the second half to end the Houston Cougars' five-game winning streak.
Cougars fall short in loss to the Bearcats
The Houston Cougars trailed by two when Cedrick Alley Jr. snagged a rebound off a missed free throw from Brison Gresham. With 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Alley kicked it out to an open Caleb Mills for a potential game-winning basket.
Despite the open look, the shot by the freshman guard clanged off the front of the rim, as the Cincinnati Bearcats took a nail-baiting 64-62 victory over the Cougars, Saturday evening, inside the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati. With the loss, the Bearcats handed the Cougars their second loss in conference play (17-5, 7-2), while ending Houston's five-game winning streak.
Despite a dominating performance in the first half by the Cougars, Mills' shot was far from the struggles Houston endured late in the second period. With a little over six minutes in the game, Dejon Jarreau drew a technical foul after he allegedly bit Cincinnati's Mamoudou Diarra and was ejected.
After recording 40 points in the first half while shooting 44% from the floor, 46% from deep, the Cougars missed 14 of their final 15 shots from the floor as the Bearcats battled back from a 15-point deficit.
With only two players scoring in double-figures, freshman guard Marcus Sasser led the Cougars with 17 points (6-10 FG, 4-5 3PT), while sophomore, Nate Hinton, added in 16 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds in the loss.
Although he finished the contest tied for a game-high 17 points, senior froward Jarron Cumberland received addition help down the stretch for Cincinnati. Junior guard Keith Williams scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, while forward Tre Scott registered an all-around double-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in the win.
Following the loss, the Cougars will look to return to their winning ways on Thursday, when Houston takes on the 10-11, 2-7 Tulane Green Wave. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. CT inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.