Houston's freshman guard Caleb Mills scored a career-high 23 points in Cougars' loss to Oklahoma State.
Cougars four-game win streak comes to a halt against Oklahoma State
With a little under three minutes remaining in the second half, Oklahoma State's guard Lindy Waters III scored a 3-point field goal over Houston's Brison Gorham as time expired off the shot clock. The made basket by Waters gave the Cowboys a late three-point advantage, in which Oklahoma State closed out the game on an 11-5 run.
Although the Cougars fought until the final buzzer, their efforts were not enough en route to a 61-55 defeat to Oklahoma State, Sunday afternoon, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 6-3 on the season with their four-game winning streak coming to an end.
"Oklahoma State had a really good game plan and they executed it well," Cougars' head coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Coach [Mike] Boynton and his coaching staff should be really proud of the work they did today. This was a great win for them, but a disappointing loss for us."
Despite still coming out on the losing end, the final scored does not justify the tough task the Cougars overcame late in the game. Houston eased an 18-point deficit late in the second half thanks to a career night from freshman guard, Caleb Mills. Mills scored 20 of his career-best 23 points in the second half while shooting 44% from the floor. He was only one of two players who scored in double-figures for the Cougars, as Nate Hinton recorded 11 points (3-12 FG, 3-9 3PT) in the loss.
While shooting 43% from the floor to open the game, Houston led 16-15 when OSU's Dee Mitchell scored a 15-foot jumper to put the Cowboys ahead by one midway through the first half. Oklahoma State went on an 18-3 run, as the Cougars missed their final 10 field-goal attempts to close the half, as well as shooting 1-15 from the floor in the last 10 minutes of the first period.
"Today we disrespected the program and that is extremely disappointing," Sampson said. "It's rare that we let a team come in our building and out-compete us, and that is the thing that bothers me the most. To me, it does not matter who we play, we have to play to the culture of our program."
In the win, Yor Anei led the Cowboys with 18 points and eight rebounds, while forward Cameron McGriff added in 12 points with a game-high 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State.
Following the loss, the Cougars will look to return to their winning ways on Thursday, when they take on UTEP inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT.