The Houston Cougars shot 50.0% from the field and 52.9% from behind the arc in a blowout victory over the Gamecocks

Cougars record third straight victory in blowout win over the Gamecocks

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The Houston Cougars jumped out to a 7-0 lead to begin the game and never let up for a 76-56 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks, Sunday afternoon, inside the Williams-Brice Stadium in S.C. With the win, the Cougars improve to 5-2 on the season while riding a three-game win streak.

Quentin Grimes scored a game-high 24 points (9-17 FG, 4-7 3PT), as the sophomore guard from the Woodlands recorded his second connective game with 20 or more points.

Houston's defense played a tremendous role in the wire-to-wire victory, as their defensive presence made baskets hard to come by for the Gamecocks. South Carolina connected on 30.3% of their field goals in the first half as the Cougars took a 39-27 lead into the break.

A made 3-point field goal by Justin Minaya made it a competitive game for a short amount of time, while the Gamecocks trailed the Cougars 14-12 with 10 minutes left before the half. Houston closed out the period with a 25-12 run, led by sophomore guard Nate Hinton, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half, to go along with 11 boards for the game.

The Cougars opened the second half building their lead to a 15 point advantage, as Grimes scored 16 of his final point total in the second period. Although Houston shot 53% from behind the arc, the Cougars' won with their transition offense, outscoring South Carolina 15-4 in fastbreak points.

In the loss, the Gamecocks shot 32.3% from the floor and an abysmal 24.0% from deep. Senior forward Maik Kotsar led South Carolina in scoring with 12 points, while second-year guard A.J. Lawson recorded 10.

Following the win, the Cougars will return to the Fertitta Center on Wednesday for an in-state showdown against the Texas-Arlington Mavericks. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT.

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Houston has lost seven of eight

Mariners ride big fifth inning to series win over Astros

Jake Odorizzi earned his second loss as an Astro Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With the losing streak behind them by taking the middle game on Saturday night, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Sunday afternoon to try and make it back-to-back victories to take the series. Instead, they'd suffer their seventh loss in the last eight games.

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 7-8, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ljay Newsome (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-2)

Odorizzi locks in through four while Houston grabs a lead

Jake Odorizzi did not start his afternoon the way he needed to in order to have a good rebound outing compared to his first start. In the 37-pitch first inning, he issued two walks and an RBI-single, putting the Mariners at a significant advantage early. Odorizzi flipped the switch, though, finding a rhythm to retire the next ten batters after that RBI-single to get through four innings with just one run allowed.

Offensively for Houston, they quickly responded to Seattle's run in the first with one of their own in the top of the second, capitalizing on some shoddy defense by Seattle to get Carlos Correa to second to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Aledmys Diaz, tying things up 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk by Chas McCormick would turn into a run after a stolen base and two sacrifice flys to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

Mariners explode for four in the fifth

The lead was short-lived, as Seattle would explode in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single and one-out walk to set up a two-RBI triple by Mitch Haniger to go ahead 3-2. That would prompt Dusty Baker out of the dugout to end Odorizzi's day and move on to Brooks Raley. Raley would not fare any better, giving up a two-run homer to Ty France to extend Seattle's new lead to 5-2. He would finish the inning, putting Odorizzi's line final: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Seattle takes the series

Seattle would strike again in the bottom of the seventh against Joe Smith. After a leadoff walk, the Mariners would get back-to-back one-out RBI-doubles to extend their lead to 7-2. After Smith in the seventh, Peter Solomon would make his major-league debut in the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Houston would then come up empty in the top of the ninth, dropping the finale and the series to Seattle.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Denver tonight and get an off day tomorrow. Tuesday night, they'll start a quick two-game set with the Rockies at 7:40 PM Central. Houston currently has Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA) penciled in as their starter, but with ongoing illness, he has not yet been fully confirmed. For the Rockies, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.87 ERA) is expected to start.

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