UConn guard Ryan Boatright (11) dribbles around Houston guard L.J. Rose (5) while UConn forward Kentan Facey (12) sets a pick in the first half in a NCAA basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 1, 201,5 at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronic
Houston Chronicle, Thomas B. Shea
February 01, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) Jherrod Stiggers scored 18 points, including two free throws with four seconds left that finally put it out of reach, and Houston beat Connecticut 70-68 on Sunday.

Connecticut's Ryan Boatright had 26 of his career-high 31 points in the last 7:51 of the game, including a 3 with two seconds left for the final margin. Five times his score brought UConn within three, but Houston replied every time.

Boatright's 3-pointer with 1:08 made it 64-61, but L.J. Rose answered with a layup to put it back to five. After Boatright's layup with four seconds left made it 68-65, he fouled Stiggers and the Houston guard made both for a five-point game again.

Houston (9-12, 1-8 American) led the entire game. Rose and Devonta Pollard finished with 12 points apiece and LeRon Barnes added 11 points.

Connecticut (11-9, 4-4) outrebounded the Cougars 51-35, but Houston committed just one turnover in the game.

Amida Brimah had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies.

The teams started slowly, and a pair of Danrad Knowles free throws put Houston up 19-11 with 5:29 left in the first half. Connecticut made three consecutive shots - the last a 3-pointer from Rodney Purvis - to cut it to 23-20 two minutes later.

Stiggers hit from 3, but Connecticut got jumpers by Kentan Facey and Brimah, and trailed 28-25 at the break.

Houston ran off six straight points to open the second half to push its lead to nine. The lead reached 15 with 11:17 left after a 3-pointer by Cavon Baker and dunk by Barnes.

The Cougars ran the lead to 13 with 8:11 left after another Knowles' jumper, but that's when Boatright warmed up - then took over - for UConn.

The senior guard started with a layup, then another, followed by a jumper and a pair from the line, which brought the deficit under double-digits. He then made a pair of 3-pointers, sandwiched around a jumper from Terrance Samuel, which made it a six-point game.

But Houston made all six of its free throws inside 1:18 and the Huskies - well, Boatright - ran out of time.



Connecticut: With the loss, the Huskies dropped two road games with week, falling in Cincinnati Thursday. UConn leads the all-time series 3-2. ... Boatright's five 3-pointers matched a career-high, as did his 11 attempts, which were both established in the loss to Cincinnati earlier in the week.

Houston: The Cougars lead all American Athletic schools in 3-pointers per game with 8.4 and finished 8 of 34 (23.5 percent). ... Houston registered its first conference win and has won back-to-back games, beating non-conference opponent Rice last Wednesday, which stopped an eight-game losing streak.


Connecticut hosts East Carolina on Wednesday.

Houston hosts Tulsa on Thursday.

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