Nate Hinton scores a career-high 24 points in a win over the Huskies.

Career Night for Nate Hinton leads to blowout victory for Houston Cougars

Kelvin Sampson. Getty Images

Nate Hinton knocked down a 3-point field goal attempt early in the first period to give the Houston Cougars a 15-2 lead within the first five minutes of the game. Hinton's three was an early sign of things to come, as the Cougars picked up their third victory of the season in a 112-73 win over the Houston Baptist Huskies, Tuesday night inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.

It was a wire-to-wire victory as the Cougars bounced back from a disappointing outing against the Oregon Ducks last Friday.

"Win the game and set the tone early was my mindset heading into this game," Hinton said after the win. "We gotta get back to who we are as a team by playing hard and playing Houston Cougars' basketball. We had some poor performances, but it is all good moving forward."

The Cougars came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, as Houston shot 45.9% from the field, 50% from behind the arc. Hinton led the way for the Cougars offensively, as the sophomore guard scored 22 of his career-high 24 points (6-11 FG, 3-4 3PT) in the first half, to go along with a career-best 15 rebounds in the win.

While Houston proved to be too much for the Huskies to handle on the offensive end, the Cougars made their presence known on defense as they recorded seven blocks in the first half and forced seven turnovers, in which they converted into 11 additional points. Houston led by as many as 17 points midway through the first half before the Huskies cut their deficit down to eight with 6:35 left in the half. The Cougars overcame Houston Baptist's run by responding with a 20-5 run, to lead 56-33 by the halftime break.

"I thought offensively we played good at Oregon, but the scoreboard keeps track of points not attempts," head coach Kelvin Sampson said. "The only difference is, the ball went in tonight for us."

Although Hilton cooled off in the second half, the Cougars' grew their lead up to a 42-point advantage due to a second-half surge by Quentin Grimes and Marcus Sasser. Grimes, who received the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll of the Week, scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, while Sasser put on a 3-point shooting display with six buckets coming from downtown for 18 points.

Still recovering from an early-season hand injury, junior guard, DeJon Jarreau, scored a season-high 14 points to go along with six assists.

"As my hand keeps getting better, just going into this game with more confidence was important for me," Jarreau said. "Just doing the things I know I can do to help the team win and playing like a mature point guard."

In the loss, Myles Pierre led the Huskies with 15 points, while Ian DuBose recorded 13 points and five rebounds. Following the win, the Houston Cougars will look to make it two straight on Wednesday, as they host the Texas State Bobcats inside Fertitta Center in Houston. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT.

QUICK TIP-INS:

  • The Cougars recorded 11 blocks in the win against the HBU, which marks the first since their 76-49 victory over Nicholls in 2015 that Houston recorded 10 or more blocks.
  • After shooting 10% from deep in a loss against the Ducks, the Cougars shot 52.4% from 3-point range in the win against the Huskies.
  • The Cougars outrebounded HBU 48-36 in the win..

Sophomore guard Nate Hinton records double-double en route to the Houston Cougars' blowout victory over the Angelo State Rams

Cougars get blowout victory over Rams in exhibition game

The University of Houston Men's basketball team may be on the verge of something special ahead of the 2019-20 College Basketball season. In their lone exhibition match, the Cougars took a 108-42 victory over the Angelo State Rams on Saturday night inside the Fertita Center in Houston.

It was a wire-to-wire victory as the Cougars jumped out to an early 13-2 advantage that was ignited by forward Brison Gresham, who scored on Houston's opening possession with a hook shot over his left shoulder.

"I take nothing from this game," head coach Kelvin Sampson said after the win. "I don't get carried away with individual performances or scores because it really means nothing. I keep everything in perspective. We have a long way to go before we can get to where we are trying to get too."

While Houston would go on to shoot 64.1% from the field, 46.7% from deep, the Cougars took a 61-25 lead into the halftime break due to their defensive intensity. During the first 20 minutes of the game, the Cougars recorded four blocks and four steals, as well as forced the Rams into 12 turnovers in which they converted into 18 addition points.

Against a team that averaged 80.5 points per game last season, the Cougars held the Rams to 17 points in the second half en route to the win.

"That's the culture of the program," sophomore guard Nate Hinton said. "Defense is what keeps us going, and it is the main focus of this team."

With three steals and one block on the night, Hinton was the defensive anchor for Houston but had an exceptional performance on both sides of the ball. He finished with a double-double of 18 points (game-high) shooting 9-for-16 from the floor, to go along with 13 rebounds.

In his unofficial debut as a member of the Cougars, sophomore guard Quentin Grimes recorded 16 points (6-8 FG, 2-4 3PT), while Marcus Sasser led the bench in scoring with 17 points for Houston. In a losing effort, the Rams were led by guards Paul Williams, who recorded 14 points, and Collin Turner, who poured in 13 for Angelo State.

Following the exhibition win, the Houston Cougars will return to the court on Tuesday to take on the Alabama State Hornets to open their 2019-20 season. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. inside the Fertita Center in Houston.

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