The Houston Cougars dropped their final road game of the regular season in a loss to the UConn Huskies.

Cougars fall short in loss to the Huskies

Kelvin Sampson. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The No. 21 Houston Cougars held a seven-point lead over the UConn Huskies at the half but was unable to carry their momentum over to the final 20 minutes. UConn outscored Houston 47-34 in the second half en route to a 77-71 victory over the Cougars, Thursday night, inside the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Mansfield, Connecticut.

In the loss, the Cougars dropped their final road game of the regular season, as they fell to 12-5 (22-8 overall) in conference play.

While falling into a tie for second place in the American Athletic Conference, sophomore guard Quentin Grimes led the way for the Cougars with 24 points (9-22 FG, 4-9 3PT) and six rebounds in the loss.

Houston came out the gates firing on all cylinders, as the Cougars opened the game on a 5-0 run before missing 10 consecutive shots from the field. UConn took full advantage of the Cougars' early struggles scoring 16 points unanswered en route to an early 11-point lead.

Despite a slow start, Houston battled back from their early deficit following a made 3-point field by Caleb Mills, as the Cougars held a 37-30 lead heading into the halftime break.

Although the Cougars closed out the first half on a hot streak, the Huskies went on a 15-2 run to take full control of the game. UConn shot 57.6% from the floor during the second half, as senior guard Christian Vital led the Huskies with 26 points (8-14) in his final home game of his college career.

In the loss, Caleb Mills recorded 20 points (6-15 FG, 2-4 3PT), while Nate Hinton added in 11 to go along with five rebounds and two steals.

In their final attempt to wrap up the top seed in the AAC, the Cougars will look to return to their winning ways on Sunday, when Houston takes on the 21-9, 10-7 Memphis Tigers. Tip-off is slated for 11 a.m. CT inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.

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ROCKETS FALL TO WARRIORS

Critical takeaways from Rockets' 105-103 loss to Warriors

Rockets fall short against Warriors. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This wasn't the typical Houston Rockets-Golden St. Warriors game when Mike D' Antoni and Steve Kerr were having an offensive battle of wits. James Harden, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, was nowhere in sight for the Rockets Friday night. Although the Rockets are in rebuild mode, it was still an interesting game. The intensity was high throughout the entire game. Emotions between Stephen Silas and Kerr were heavy, as they were yelling and jumping up-and-down along the sidelines.

A series of runs and back-and-forth scoring gave a slight reminder of the old rivalry between the Warriors and Rockets. Steph Curry was having a tough game, but with 5.1 seconds left, he was able to create great separation from a step back and drained an incredible midrange shot over Kevin Porter Jr. It was heartbreaking because Porter played great defense on Curry throughout the entire game, with Curry only making 6 out of 22 shots. Porter had a tremendous first-half defensively on Curry and recorded an 88.9 defensive rating. Porter had a good feel for guarding Curry, he didn't allow himself to switch away from him. He anticipated passing lanes and ripped Curry a couple of times.

Besides Porter playing great defense, the Rockets played good as a whole. They finished with 10 steals. Their main technique was to switch everything on defense, and Kenyon Martin Jr. and Christian Wood did a good job. It's never easy staying in front of Curry and Jordan Poole, but if they could hold their ground for five seconds, it became possible. Porter did a great job at times by communicating on defense, so he could tell Jalen Green and Eric Gordon when to switch.

And speaking of Green--- he had a strange night offensively. He went 0-11 from the field but made two great plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of Silas keeping Green on the bench because of his cold hand, he kept him in the game for learning purposes. Green made an outstanding play on Curry at the 2:52 mark in the 4th quarter. Before that, he missed a shot from three but fought hard for the rebound, then found a cutting Wood towards the rim. Green might of struggled, but the effort was there.

This was a tough loss for the Rockets, but they are steadily improving. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last five games.

Up next: The Rockets face the Spurs on Tuesday night.

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