As time was winding down in the first half, Houston guard Jherrod Stiggers launched a 35-foot three-point shot that careened off the backboard and found its way into the basket as the buzzer sounded.
Stiggers’ shot was aided by a bit of luck, but the Cougars (16-14, 8-9) certainly had no trouble scoring from the perimeter throughout the rest of the game.
USF struggled to defend three-point shooting Tuesday night in Houston, giving up 12 3-pointers on 23 attempts on the way to a 78-69 defeat.
The Bulls’ inability to convert their own three-point attempts made it more difficult for them to keep up with the Cougars’ scoring. USF made only one 3-pointer out of nine attempts – a display of their lowest ranking in the AAC from beyond the arc.
Despite the difference in perimeter shooting success between the two teams, the Bulls were only trailing by five points with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
However, it was a Stiggers’ 3-pointer that stretched the Houston lead to eight and pushed the game out of reach for USF (12-18, 3-14).
Though the Bulls lost, they maintained their stance as the eighth seed in the conference with the AAC tournament looming next week.
A UCF win against Temple on Tuesday night would have vaulted the Knights over the Bulls in the standings, but Temple defeated UCF in overtime.
USF’s last game of the regular season will have an impact on the seeding for the conference tournament because both the Bulls and the Owls have the same records in conference play. If the Bulls win, they will keep their current seeding, but a loss coupled with a Knights’ victory against Houston would push the Bulls to last in the AAC.
USF will face Temple at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Sun Dome.