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

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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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Eric Gordon has lost a tremendous amount weight during the shutdown. His biggest aspiration is to stay healthy and be more fit for the shorter season. He told the media that he feels confident about this team, and is optimistic about getting his shot back consistently.

"Everybody knows we're a dangerous team. We can beat anybody, and we can beat ourselves" said Gordon. "It's all about finding that consistent path. There are only eight games and playoffs around the corner, we have to be dominant from start to finish."

Gordon is at a career low shooting 37 percent from the field this season, while playing in only 34 games. During the season he went through a couple of injuries while averaging 14.5 points per game. For Gordon to be productive he needs to remain healthy so the Rockets can be successful. If Russell Westbrook or James Harden are off to a bad start, Gordon is a great weapon to go to. Even though Gordon's stats dropped from the previous two years, there can always be a quick turnaround.

Gordon's injury caused him to miss quite a bit of time, so it was hard for him to get back in rhythm. That can always throw a great shooter like Gordon off. The quarantine allowed Gordon to get healthy and practice his shot more. Before the season started, Gordon signed a four-year, $76 million contract extension. Daryl Morey is extremely confident about having Gordon on the Rockets. Morey was seen working with Gordon after practice Tuesday.

Mike D'Antoni has loved the way Gordon has looked on the court. As D'Antoni watched the Rockets five on five practice, he's been observing Gordon very carefully.

"He hasn't missed a rep. Looks good. Shooting the ball extremely well," said D'Antoni during the Zoom press conference. "Getting Eric Gordon in the groove and getting him going is very important. And also, getting the other guys to be able to maybe even have more opportunities."

When Gordon is consistent and healthy, it is a scary sight to opposing teams.

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