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

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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.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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