A second-half block party leads to a Cougars' victory over the Bobcats.

Houston Cougars get hard-fought win over Texas State

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Texas State guard Mason Harrell drove to the lane with the intent to score an easy layup for the Bobcats in transition. Unfortunately for Texas State, DeJon Jarreau rejected Harrell's layup in his attempt to cut into the Cougars' lead late in the second half. Jarreau's block on Harrell was one of 10 second-half rejections that played a tremendous factor in the Cougars 68-60 win over Texas State, Wednesday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.

After a subpar defensive performance in the first half, the Bobcats held a 29-28 lead over the Cougars into the break. Houston's defense allowed Texas State to connect on 39% of their shots from the field, 43% from behind the arc. They picked up their defensive intensity in the second half, as the Cougars held the Bobcats to 30% shooting from the floor, 11% on 3-point field attempts.

"Texas State is a hard team to play against, and I'm not sure we could have played this well [in the second half] a month ago," head coach Kelvin Sampson said after the win. "We were trying to figure out how to win the game, and they bought into in the second half."

Jarreau, the junior guard from New Orleans, ended the night with three blocks, to go along with 12 points and five rebounds in the win. Although Jarreau made a few key stops down the stretch, Houston's most impactful defender came from big man Chris Harris Jr. Despite ending the game scoreless, Sampson called Harris the best player on the court, as the senior center recorded a career-high six rejections (all in the second half) and 12 rebounds on the night.

"I feel like I did what my team needed me to do, which was block shots and rebound," Harris said. "I honestly don't think about scoring when I go into the game because my main focus is to rebound and blocks shots every night."

The Cougars outscored the Bobcats 40-31 thanks to a second-half surge by sophomore guard, Quentin Grimes. He scored 16 of his 21 points in the second period, where he shot 6-for-17 from the floor in 37 minutes of play. Forward Fabian White had another productive night, as the forward recorded 15 points (5-11 FG) and six rebounds for the Cougars.

With their fourth game win streak coming to an end in Houston, Nijal Pearson led the Bobcats in scoring with 17 points on 5-for-16 shooting before fouling out in the final minute of the game.

Following the win, the Houston Cougars will hit the road to Columbia S.C. for a Sunday showdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Tip-off is slated for 11 A.M. C.T.

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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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