Houston, Texas - Andre Owens scored 23 points and Louis Truscott added his 11th double-double of the season to lead the University of Houston to a 59-57 victory over South Florida in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Owens scored three of his points with 32 seconds left when he hit a 24-foot jumper from the left side of key to tie the game at 57-57.
Then, Jarrett Sidney deflected Will McDonald's pass on South Florida's next possession. Truscott leaped up high for the ball and after he gained possession, the Bulls' Will McDonald was called for his fifth personal foul with four seconds left.
Truscott calmly hit both of his free throws to give the Cougars the lead.
"We have been working on our free throws and concentration all season long," Truscott said. "Coach McCallum is always telling us that free throws often win games. Tonight, I was focused."
The game featured five lead changes and seven ties as both teams desperately wanted to win.
Houston limited the Bulls to 36.2 percent from the field on 25 of 69 shooting while converting 20 of 45 shots for 44.4 percent. The difference in the game though was the Cougars' accuracy at the free throw line.
Houston made 10 of its 12 free throws for 83.3 percent while South Florida hit just two of their 11 free throws for 18.2 percent. Owens and Truscott led the way as each made all four of their attempts from the line.
McDonald's 24 points and 12 rebounds led South Florida, while Jimmy Baxter contributed 15 points and Yusuf Baker added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Truscott, who leads Conference USA with 11 double doubles, finished with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and 11 rebounds.
The Cougars will travel to TCU on Saturday, February 1, while South Florida plays against Charlotte in Tampa.