An awful showing from 3-point range ends in a difficult loss for the Houston Cougars in Oregon.

Cougars fall to Ducks in poor shooting night in Oregon

Kelvin Sampson. Getty Images

Last season, the Houston Cougars picked up one of their most impressive victories in a win over the Oregon Ducks on their home floor in Houston. A year later, the No. 11 Ducks revenged their loss by playing both ends of the court at a high level.

Freshman guard Caleb Mills knocked down his first of two 3-point field goal attempts at the 6:53 mark in the first half. The basket was also the first made field goal from behind the arc for the Cougars, who missed their first six attempts inside the Matthew Knight Arena Friday night.

Following the 3 drained by Mills, the Cougars missed their next four 3-point field goal attempts to close out the half (1-11) in one of their worst shooting nights in school history, as the Cougars dropped a 78-66 loss to the Ducks. Mills, who was the only player to hit a 3-point field goal on the night, led the way for Houston with 21 points shooting 8-for-15-from the field, 2-for-6 from behind the arc.

If Houston would have adjusted their offense early in the game, perhaps the Cougars would have come out on the winning side of an eight-point loss. On shots coming from inside the mid-range, the Cougars shot 55.5% in comparison to the 10% from deep by the end of the final buzzer.

While Houston remained cold from the outside, the Ducks played a large factor in the Cougars' poor shooting night due to the intensity Oregon played on defense. Their defensive scheme allowed only one other player to reach double-digits in points, as junior forward Fabian White recording 12 points (6-for-10 FG) in the loss.

The only good stretch for the Cougars came with a little over five minutes left in the first half, when Houston went on a 9-0 run to take a 22-14 lead over the Ducks. Oregon responded to close out the half with an 18-5 run to take a 32-27 lead into the halftime break, and never led up.

In the win, Oregon's senior guard Anthony Mathis led the way for the Ducks with 18 points while shooting 5-for-9 from behind the arc. Mathis' backcourt mate, Payton Pritchard finished with 16 points and a game-high five assists on the night.

Following the loss, the Houston Cougars will look to bounce back on Tuesday, in a game against the Houston Baptist Wolves, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.

QUICK TIP-INS:

  • While the Cougars struggled from deep, the Ducks shot 47.6% from 3-point range.
  • The Cougars won the battle of the glass, out-rebounding the Ducks 38-26.
  • After a career 32-point night against the Rice Owls on Tuesday, Quentin Grimes scored only eight points on 3-for-8 from the field, 0-for-4 from behind the arc.

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

Getty Images

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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