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Brenden Welper | | December 30, 2020

Tulsa men's basketball stuns No. 5 Houston, hands Cougars their first loss of the season

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The Cougars are undefeated no more.

Tulsa (5-3) stunned No. 5 Houston 65-64 on Tuesday, Dec. 29, handing the Cougars (7-1) their first loss of the season. It's the Golden Hurricane's first win against a top-5 team since 1996.  

Tulsa guard Brandon Rachal led all scorers with 22 points on 5-for-9 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds. He made all eight of his free-throw attempts, including the last two which sealed the victory with 0.1 seconds left.

Rachal's game-winning free throw bounced off the front end of the rim and hit the backboard before rattling in.

The Hurricane shot 41.7 percent from the floor while limiting the Cougars to 35.7 percent in a game that saw 11 lead changes. Houston made just one of its final seven field-goal attempts on the night. 

The Cougars also missed 11 free throws, despite shooting nine more than Tulsa. Quentin Grimes led Houston with 19 points on 5-for-17 shooting while adding seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. 

No. 5 Houston is now 2-1 in the American Athletic Conference with wins over Temple and UCF. The Hurricane lost to Wichita State earlier in December but beat Memphis last week, which also puts Tulsa at 2-1 in the American.

The Cougars are idle until Sunday, Jan. 3, when they visit SMU. Tulsa will travel to Cincinnati for a date with the Bearcats on Saturday, Jan. 2. 

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