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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Houston heats up, Comets fall

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It was just a matter of time.

A matter of time before the Houston Tigers, a team that likes to shoot 3-pointers as much as most people like to eat, finally got their long-range shots to fall.

And when those 3-pointers did fall, it helped Houston push past the homestanding Alton Comets 58-51 Feb. 14.

Houston didn't have much luck from behind the arc in the first half of play, posting just a pair of 3-pointers in the first 16 minutes of play. The Comets topped that feat with three triples, all from Tyler Thompson in the first half. Thompson had a big first half for the Comets, scoring all 13 of his points in the first two periods.

But in the second half, the 3-point scale was tipped favorably to Houston's side. The Tigers scorched the nets for seven treys in the second half, while Alton hit just one.

Houston's shooting woes were not just confined to the 3-point line in the first period, however. The Tigers opened the game by missing their first three shots and turning the ball over twice on their first five touches of the contest.

Alton took advantage of this by hopping in front 9-zip to start the night.

Lane Brewer (eight points) sank the first hoop of the game for the Comets, followed by five straight points from Tyler Thompson and a layup by Caleb Hollis.

Houston's first field goal came at the 4:58 mark of the first, and the Tigers still had much ground to make up in the frame.

Tyler Thompson beat the buzzer to sink a layup at the end of the first, giving Alton a 13-7 lead after one.

Alton maintained this lead in the second, thanks to back-to-back 3-balls by Tyler Thompson that kept the Comets on top 21-13.

But Houston fought back and closed the first half with a 7-2 run, including two free throws, the only charity tosses of the first half, with no time left on the clock. That pair of freebies from Tyler DeWitt pulled the Tigers within three, 23-20, at intermission.

Then early in the third, Houston found its stroke from 3-point land.

The Tigers' first triple tied the game at 23-all, and their second long bomb, this one from Ryan O'Neil, gave Houston its first lead of the game, 26-25, at the 6:55 mark of the third.

Brewer hit a baseline jumper for Alton, followed by three straight points from Trent Thomson, but Houston's fourth trey of the third started a 7-0 run for the Tigers that ended with the visitors on top 36-32 after three.

Houston continued to fire away in the final frame and the Tigers dropped in three more treys in the first four minutes of the fourth. The Tigers also added an old-fashioned 3-point play by Jon Page to extend their lead to 52-37.

But if the Comets were going to go down, they were going to go down fighting right until the final buzzer.

Especially if Caleb Hollis had anything to say about it.

Hollis tossed in 13 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth period as the Comets tried to come back from a double-digit deficit.

The Comets were down 54-43 with 1:37 left when Hollis went to work.

He hit a floater in the lane and then followed that with a hoop and free throw with 28 seconds left. Then with 11 ticks showing on the clock, Hollis unleashed a long, high-arcing rainbow trey that splashed through the nets, pulling Alton within six, 57-51.

But the Comets would not get the two possessions they needed in order to pull even with Houston.

The Tigers tacked on a free throw and Houston ended the night with a 58-51 victory.

Stetson Neldon finished with four points for Alton, while Steven Ross and Simon Gatewood had two points each.

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