MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- South Alabama may have made Houston's appearance in the Top 25 a quick one.
Richard Law and Chey Christie each scored 12 points and the Jaguars posted a 66-62 victory over Houston (No. 25 AP) on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.The winning streak is the longest for South Alabama (7-1) since the 1999-2000 season when the Jaguars won eight in a row. This is their best start since the 1983-84 season."We knew it would be unbelievably hard to win this game, but we hung in there and made some plays late," South Alabama coach John Pelphrey said. "It was a more exciting game than the score. The competitiveness of both teams was outstanding."Law made two free throws with 19 seconds left to give South Alabama a 65-62 lead. After a missed 3 by Houston (4-2), Mario Jointer made one of two from the line with four seconds left for the final margin.The Cougars moved into the Top 25 this week for the first time since the 1992-93 season. They shot 32.9 percent from the field, including an uncharacteristic 5-of-18 from Oliver Lafayette, Conference USA's leading scorer. He finished with 13 points, seven below his average.Jamar Thorpe led the Cougars with 18 points and Lanny Smith
added 17."I thought it was real ugly game with two teams that scrapped and played really hard," Houston coach Tom Penders said. "South Alabama did a better job than we did. You can't go on the road and make 12-of-22 free throws and win many times."Houston led 47-44 with 8:11 left on a free throw by Lafayette. Christie's jumper tied the game less than a minute later and the Jaguars didn't trail again.Michael Phillips added 11 points for South Alabama and Demetric Bennett had 10.The Jaguars were 24-of-35 from the free-throw line. Houston had 22 offensive rebounds and forced the Jaguars into a season-high 19 turnovers.