Knowles, Houston fall to Harvard in men’s college basketball
Collegiate senior forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and his University of Houston Cougars saw their three–game win streak snapped on Friday night, after they blew a nine-point lead late in a 57-56 loss at home to Harvard.
The Cougars finished non-conference play with a 9-3 win/loss record – the other losses coming on the road to Louisiana State University (LSU) and Arkansas.
Against Harvard, Knowles was forced to miss some key minutes in the second half due to a deep gash he sustained just above his left eye. He checked out with 13:46 left in the game and didn’t return until the 4:23 mark; wearing a bulky bandage to cover the seven stitches he got in the locker room. When he returned, Houston’s nine-point lead was noticeably smaller, and the momentum had shifted in Harvard’s favor.
Despite battling through the injury, the 6’10”, 200-pound forward still managed to finish with nine points, three rebounds and two blocks.
Harvard ended the game on a 12-2 scoring run, highlighted by back-to-back three pointers by guard Bryce Aiken. The 6’0” freshman tied a career-high with 21 points.
Aiken’s triples brought the Harvard Crimson within one with 4:27 left. Cougars forward Rob Gray Jr. pushed the lead back up to three (56-53) with 2:36 to go, capping Houston’s scoring.
Gray had 15 points to lead Houston. Houston held a 34-30 lead at the half, and built the lead to nine points before the Crimson got hot and surged back into the game.
Prior to Friday’s game, Knowles had scored in double figures in Houston’s previous three games. His best game of the season, so far, came during that stretch, a 25-point, four-rebound performance in an 82-77 win over the Rhode Island Rams. Knowles is currently averaging a career-high 10.9 points per game, to go along with four rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
He has seen his role change frequently in Head Coach Kelvin Sampson’s first two years on the job. Knowles was a starter in the 2014-15 season, but was used off the bench last season. Now in 2016, it appears Knowles has found his place with the team. He has started eight of 10 games this season, and has seen increased minutes every week since the season started.
The Cougars will look to bounce back today when they take on the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies on the road. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m.