UH Cougars defeat Texas A&M Aggies in OT


Written by: MAi' Ghen Storm | Photo credit: Oscar Herrera, SFL Staff Photographer

The top-seeded Houston Cougars survived a heart-stopping overtime thriller against the No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday to advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament.

A late surge by the Aggies, capped by a miraculous buzzer-beating three-pointer from Andersson Garcia, forced an extra period after Houston had seemingly secured the win in regulation. The Aggies outscored the Cougars 17-5 in the final two minutes to tie the game at 86-86.

However, Houston's experience as a top seed shone through in overtime. They outscored Texas A&M 14-9 in the extra period to secure a 100-95 victory.

"Those last two minutes were rough," admitted Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, referencing Murphy's Law. "We missed free throws, the ball wouldn't settle, and they were hitting tough threes."

Despite a game-high 30 points from guard Emanuel Sharp, Houston's win came at a cost. Sharp fouled out in overtime, one of four Cougars to be disqualified.

This year's March Madness run holds extra significance for Houston following the tragic passing of former star Reggie Chaney in August. Chaney, who played a key role in the team's 2021 Final Four appearance, is honored with his number 32 displayed on each player's jersey.

"We're built for these moments," said guard Jamal Shead after the game. "We miss Reggie, but we're moving on to the Sweet Sixteen for him."

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