Tulane rallies from 19 down to beat Houston

HOUSTON — Ricky Tarrant’s layup and free throw with two second remaining capped the Tulane men’s basketball team’s 88-85 come-from-behind win over Houston on Saturday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Green Wave (16-8, 4-5 Conference USA) trailed the Cougars (14-8, 3-6) by 19 points with 8:22 remaining before mounting the comeback. Houston took the 19-point lead, its largest of the game, on a 3-pointer by Jherrod Stiggers that made the score 74-55. That basket was the last field goal for the Cougars.

“That was a lot a fun,” Tulane coach Ed Conroy said. “It was just one of those games that I couldn’t find the right buttons to push, no matter what I did. Sometimes you just have to believe, and we talk about next play all the time. We were down 19 with eight minutes to go and nothing going right. That is about as next play as you can get.”

Tulane proceeded to rattle off an 11-1 run to cut the deficit to single digits for the first time since late in the first half. Houston’s J.J. Thompson then converted four free throw attempts to give the Cougars a 79-66 lead with 4:03 left before the Green Wave scored 12 straight points.

Kendall Timmons got the run started with a pair of free throws that were followed by a pair of 3-pointers from Jordan Callahan and two layups by Josh Davis.

Two more Houston free throws made the score 81-78 with 2:43 remaining. Davis then hit two free throws with 2:34 left and Timmons hit a driving layup less than a minute later that gave Tulane its first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish.

Timmons scored on another layup with 1:05 left and Davis hit one of two free throws with 51 seconds remaining that gave Tulane a 85-81 lead.

With the score tied at 85, Tarrant took the inbound outlet pass and drove the length of the floor to hit the driving layup on which he was fouled. The free throw made the score 88-85 with 2.5 remaining.

Houston’s baseball pass the length of the floor was intercepted by Tarrant as the final horn sounded.

The win snapped Tulane’s road conference losing streak at 18 games and a four-game losing skid on the road against Houston.

Tarrant finished with a game-high 27 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Timmons added 22 points and nine boards.

Davis recorded his 13th double double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Callahan chipped in eight points off the bench.

Houston was led Young with 26 points, while TaShawn Thomas added 20 points and eight rebounds.

Tulane shot 47 percent from the floor for the game. The Green Wave will take their two-game winning streak to Southern Miss on Wednesday.