Connecticut vs. Houston final score: TaShawn Thomas scores 23 as Cougars pull upset, 75-71

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars saw an 18-point lead evaporate in the second half and had just enough offense to pull off the upset.

TaShawn Thomas was the man of the hour as the Houston Cougars survived a furious rally from the Connecticut Huskies to score the upset on Tuesday, 75-71.

Thomas hit two free throws with nine seconds to give the Cougars a two-point lead and then blocked Shabazz Napier's final shot as Houston recovered from a terrible second half in the win.

It was a tale of two halves for both teams, and at first it looked like the Huskies wouldn't have a chance. The Cougars jumped out to an 18-point lead at half, but were listless to start the second. The Huskies went on a 21-3 run, fueled by 14 points from Shabazz Napier alone to tie the game at 49-49 with 13 minutes left to play. The game would stay close down to the waning seconds, but with only Napier feeling any sort of offensive flow, the Huskies ended up falling short.

Napier finished with a game-high 27 points and Ryan Boatright added 19 for the Huskies, but that was about it for the team. DeAndre Daniels finished with 12 points and only six Huskies scored as they shot 41.1 percent as a team from the floor.

Thomas, the third-leading scorer in the AAC, carried the Cougars with 23 points. Jherrod Stiggers and Danrad Knowles added 17 and 13 points to help the Cougars survive the second half onslaught from Connecticut.

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