Memphis, Tennessee (PRWEB) April 16, 2010
Houston is celebrating a big win, one that is absolutely impressive for the Cougars, who edged out the Tigers 55-51 in a NCAA Div. 1 Tip-Off round game Friday night. The Cougars went into the game shooting, on average, 57.9% from the field, and 65.9% from the 3-point line. Memphis, on the other hand, shot an uncharacteristic 33.8% from the field, and 42.8% from long range.
Two Houston players led the team with 21 points, and 6 players scored double-figures. Head Coach James Dickey was pleased with his team’s poise, as well as the different things they did to get the win. “I really thought Houston (SMU) played great basketball. They really wanted it, and I thought we matched up with them pretty well. I thought a lot of things went the way we wanted, including the turnovers and the fact that we kept the ball out of the transition game,” said Dickey. The Cougars also outrebounded the Tigers 35-26.
Although Memphis had the height advantage, there was some worry about that late in the game, when the Tigers were able to play better defense. Memphis had a run of 12 straight points, when the Cougars’ defense had collapsed. Houston was able to come back and tie it up 46-46 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Memphis pulled ahead 43-41, but then the Cougars came back. After Memphis went on an 8-0 run, Houston had a run of its own, taking the lead. The Cougars were in the process of pulling away, when they were cut off and the Tigers were able to tie it up. Houston’s defense was solid, and then the offense seized the opportunity, and ran away with the game.
Head Coach Phil Martelli was disappointed with his team’s effort, and the turnover game they had. They could not control the ball, especially in the transition game, and looked sluggish, as a result. “I’m shocked at our lack of focus, it’s just disheartening to me,” Martelli said. “We simply didn’t have the energy to compete and play the kind of basketball we need to play for 60 minutes to win the game.”
Martelli stressed that he could not give any excuses, nor could he blame one specific player for the loss. He just had to move on. Memphis is 1-2, and the Cougars are now 1-2.
This was Houston’s second NCAA championship, first in 1983, when the school was a Division III school, and is the school’s eighth NCAA title. The second-ranked Houston Cougars host Texas Southern at the Cynthia Donerson Center tomorrow at 7 p.m.
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