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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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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