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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TEXANS TRAINING CAMP WATCH

11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorsett had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Teagan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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