Jan. 21, 2012
|Houston 82, East Carolina 76|
|Pirate Basketball Central|
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From wire and staff reports
HOUSTON - Jonathon Simmons and Alandise Harris scored 19 points apiece, and Houston barely withstood a furious East Carolina comeback to hold on for an 82-76 victory Saturday night.
TaShawn Thomas added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cougars (10-9, 2-4 Conference USA), who snapped a four-game losing streak and dealt the Pirates (9-9, 0-5) their fifth straight defeat.
Houston led 74-50 after a Simmons fast-break layup with 7:46 to play. What followed was a 25-2 ECU run, capped by a Robert Sampson jumper that cut the lead to 76-75 with 2:23 left.
The Cougars misfired on their ensuing possession, but ECU was unable to pull ahead missing two shots from point-blank range. Harris then made 1-of-2 free throws to give Houston a 3-point cushion.
Miguel Paul was fouled driving to basket and made the second of two free throw attempts to bring the Pirates back within one, 77-76, with 1:04 to play. It was East Carolina's final point of the game.
ECU went 0-for-6 in the final 2:23, while Houston made four free throws in the final 1:12 to secure the win.
Paul led East Carolina with 23 points, and Shamarr Bowden and Erin Straughn scored 12 each. Sampson finished with a career-high 12 rebounds, while Darrius Morrow handed out a career-best five assists and also became the 10th player in school history to record 700 rebounds.
Morrow started the ECU rally with a dunk, igniting an 11-0 run over a span of less than two minutes to cut its deficit to 13 with 5:58 to play.
After a Thomas lay-up put the Cougars ahead by 15, ECU scored 14 unanswered to get within one on Sampson's jumper.
Houston dominated inside the paint, scoring 42 points and out-rebounding the Pirates, who relied heavily on its 3-point shooting, by 14. ECU connected on 10 of a season-high 35 3-point attempts (.286).
The Cougars finished shooting 50.0 percent (31-62) from the floor, while ECU shot 37.9 percent (25-66) scoring 27 points off 20 Houston turnovers.