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 gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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