Houston 82, East Carolina 76

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 21, 2012
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. But ECU went 0 for 6 from the field after that, and a Miguel Paul free throw was the Pirates' last score of the game. 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.
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