The Houston Cougars survive Jayden Gardner's 29-point double-double in win over ECU.

Cougars extend winning streak to five in victory over the Pirates

Coming off an assist by big man Charles Coleman, sophomore forward Jayden Gardner made an uncontested layup to inaugurate the game. Gardner's basket was the first of 11 made field goals as the North Carolina native scored a game-high 29 points, to go along with 19 rebounds in 40 minutes of action.

Despite his great performance, Gardner could not lead his team to a victory, as the Houston Cougars took a 69-59 win over the East Carolina Pirates Wednesday night inside the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, NC. While improving their winning streak to five, Houston (17-4, 7-1 American Athletic Conference) has now won 11 of their last 12 games.

Outside of giving up nearly 30 points to Gardner, the Cougars had a solid performance on the defensive end as no other player scored in double-figures for the Pirates. Houston held ECU to 32.8% shooting from the field, and an unpleasant 17.4% from behind the arc.

Unlike the Pirates, the Cougars, who are currently ranked No. 21 in the nation, had three players who scored in double-digits. Freshman guard Caleb Mills scored a team-high 18 points (7-18 FG, 3-6 3PT), while sophomore Quentin Grimes enjoyed his first game scoring over 10 points since Christmas Day — as the Woodlands native registered 15 points and six rebounds in the win.

With the Pirates trailing by one, the Cougars took full control of this game in the final four minutes of the first half. Following a made 3-point field goal by Grimes, Houston closed out the first period on a 13-1 run to take a 33-21 lead into the half.

For the second time this season, Chris Harris Jr. provided Houston with a great presence in the middle, with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Up next, the Cougars will travel to Cincinnati on Saturday to take on the 13-7, 6-2 Cincinnati Bearcats. Tip-off is slated for 5 P.M. CT.

Caleb Mills and DeJon Jarreau leads second half rally in Cougars' comeback win over the UConn Huskies.

Cougars rally late to take home victory over UConn

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The University of Houston Men's Basketball team trailed 50-44 with a little over five minutes left in the second half. In a game where the Cougars failed to capitalize on several missed opportunities, Houston closed out the contest on a 17-5 run en route to a 63-59 victory over the UConn Huskies, Thursday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the win, the Cougars have now won nine of their last 10 games while improving to 5-1 in conference play (15-4 overall).

"Sometimes when you don't play your best game and you are in a fight like this, you have to find a way to win," head coach Kelvin Sampson said after the win. "That's when our culture comes in and the way we practice every day."

Continuing his phenomenal play during his first season in Houston, freshman guard Caleb Mills scored a game-high 20 points (5-11 FG, 2-3 3PT, 8-8 FT) — as he registered 18 in the second half. With 48 seconds left in the final period and the game tied at 55 apiece, Mills connected on a contested mid-range jumper to put the Cougars ahead by two.

"It wasn't a lot of pressure on my end.....I wanted to take the shot," Mills said. "Coach told me when he recruited me that I was going to have opportunities to take big shots, so I was not surprised by the play he drew up for me late in the game."

Unlike their previous contest on Saturday, it was a backcourt affair as Mills and Jarreau scored the final 17 points for the Cougars down the stretch. The exceptional play by Houston's backcourt duo helped the Cougars overcome a six-point deficit in the final five minutes of the game.

Jarreau came two assists shy from recording the Cougars' first triple-double since Bo Outlaw in 1993, as the junior guard from New Orleans scored a season-high 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the win.

UConn's senior guard led the Huskies in the loss with 14 points, while junior forward Isaiah Whaley recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds of his own.

Following the win, the Cougars will return to their home floor on Sunday for an American Athletic Conference showdown against the 8-11, 1-5 USF Bulls. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. CT.

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