Puou registers first career double-double in UNO loss at Sam Houston State

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Senior finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Defense was the story as the Privateers – who trailed by 10 with seven minutes remaining in the game – held the Bearkats scoreless in the final 4:51 to attempt a game-tying shot at the buzzer but shorthanded University of New Orleans (14-13, 11-5 Southland) fell to Sam Houston State University (18-11, 12-4 Southland), 57-54, Wednesday evening at Johnson Coliseum.

Makur Puou posted his second consecutive 20-point game and added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Diontae Champion added nine points and nine rebounds and Tyren Harrison finished with six points, five assists and four rebounds in his first start since the season opener in his home state of New York (St. John’s University).

Defense was the story in the first half, highlighted by Champion’s #SCtop10 nominee – a chasedown block with less than three minutes remaining in the half. After 20 minutes, Sam Houston State led 28-26 behind John Dewey III’s 10 points and the Bearkats’ two banked triples.

Puou matched Dewey III’s 10 points and added four rebounds – three offensive – and two steals. Champion finished the frame with five points, five rebounds, a block and a steal and Harrison dished two assists. Matthew Jiles came off the bench with a triple, his first career block and a steal.

An early 7-0 SHSU run put the Orange and White in front by nine as the Privateers continued to hold their own defensively but couldn’t put together a run of their own.

At the 7:46 mark, Puou went to the line following an offensive board – his fourth of the game. Moments late and trailing by 12, Puou followed his miss with a bunny, Damion Rosser swiped the inbounds and scored to make it an eight-point ballgame.

Troy Green’s and-one was followed by a quick Puou layup. A Sam Houston miss led to a Rosser layup making it a one-possession ballgame with 1:03 to go. The Privateer defense forced a shot clock violation to get an opportunity to tie with 8.2 ticks remaining. The defense came up huge, holding the Bearkats scoreless thru 4:43. The Harrison corner shot was just a bit strong as Sam Houston was able to secure the victory 57-54 over the short-handed Privateers.

Puou, Champion and Rosser picked up two steals apiece… the 37 minutes were a season-high for Champion… Jiles’ block in the first was the first of his four-year career

The Privateers battle top-ranked Nicholls Saturday at 6:32 p.m. in Thibodaux.

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