Nate Hinton scored a career-high 25 points in the Cougars' win over the UT Arlington Mavericks.

Cougars defeat UT Arlington  Mavericks for their fourth consecutive win

Cougars defeat UT Arlington  Mavericks for their fourth consecutive win
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The American Athletic Conference Player of the Week winner, Quentin Grimes, ended the game with 10 points (4-8 FG, 1-3 3PT), but the sophomore guard set the tone early for the Houston Cougars.

Grimes opened the game scoring the first two out of three baskets for the Cougars, which gave way to an early 14-2 lead within the first five minutes of the period. Houston never relinquished the lead in a wire-to-wire 71-63 victory over the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks, Wednesday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the win, the Cougars have won four consecutive games including five of their last six.

It was an outstanding performance by Nate Hinton, who recorded a career-high 25 points (9-15 FG, 4-8 3PT) to go along with 10 rebounds in the win — his fourth double-double on the young season.

"I've been focused more but mainly on defense," Hinton said. "If I come into the game thinking about offense, I am no good. I just focused on defense and rebounding, as well as being the leader of the team."

Outside of connecting on 44.6% of their shots from the field, 40.0% from behind the arc, defense and cleaning the glass played an enormous factor in the Cougars' win. Houston's defense held UT Arlington's offense to 28.3% shooting from the floor, and a dreadful 28.6% from deep. The Cougars won the battle of the boards 49-31 (15 offensive rebounds.), something head coach, Kelvin Sampson, was most impressed by.

"Hinton is the heart and soul of this team," Sampson said. "Do you know how hard it is for a guard to average nearly 10 rebounds a game? "As an entire team, we are the No. 1 rated offensive rebounding percentage team in the nation and that is huge for us. That is apart of our culture."

After a slow start to the contest, the Mavericks battled back to make it a competitive game against the Cougars. UT Arlington outscored Houston 28-22 to close out the first half trailing 36-30, after falling behind by as many as 12 points. Although they played a great defensive game, the Cougars had no answer for the Mavericks' Brian Warren, as the senior guard scored 15 of his 27 points (8-19 FG, 5-10 3PT) in the first half.

Providing UH with some key production coming from their second unit, Caleb Mills scored 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field, as the freshman guard gave the Cougars an extra boost off the bench.

Following the win, the Cougars will look to extend their winning streak to five on Sunday, when they take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Sunday, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 P.M. CT.

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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