New contract for Kelvin Sampson means the Coogs are here to stay
Composite photo by Jack Brame.
Nate Hinton scores a career-high 24 points in a win over the Huskies.
Nate Hinton knocked down a 3-point field goal attempt early in the first period to give the Houston Cougars a 15-2 lead within the first five minutes of the game. Hinton's three was an early sign of things to come, as the Cougars picked up their third victory of the season in a 112-73 win over the Houston Baptist Huskies, Tuesday night inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.
It was a wire-to-wire victory as the Cougars bounced back from a disappointing outing against the Oregon Ducks last Friday.
"Win the game and set the tone early was my mindset heading into this game," Hinton said after the win. "We gotta get back to who we are as a team by playing hard and playing Houston Cougars' basketball. We had some poor performances, but it is all good moving forward."
The Cougars came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, as Houston shot 45.9% from the field, 50% from behind the arc. Hinton led the way for the Cougars offensively, as the sophomore guard scored 22 of his career-high 24 points (6-11 FG, 3-4 3PT) in the first half, to go along with a career-best 15 rebounds in the win.
While Houston proved to be too much for the Huskies to handle on the offensive end, the Cougars made their presence known on defense as they recorded seven blocks in the first half and forced seven turnovers, in which they converted into 11 additional points. Houston led by as many as 17 points midway through the first half before the Huskies cut their deficit down to eight with 6:35 left in the half. The Cougars overcame Houston Baptist's run by responding with a 20-5 run, to lead 56-33 by the halftime break.
"I thought offensively we played good at Oregon, but the scoreboard keeps track of points not attempts," head coach Kelvin Sampson said. "The only difference is, the ball went in tonight for us."
Although Hilton cooled off in the second half, the Cougars' grew their lead up to a 42-point advantage due to a second-half surge by Quentin Grimes and Marcus Sasser. Grimes, who received the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll of the Week, scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, while Sasser put on a 3-point shooting display with six buckets coming from downtown for 18 points.
Still recovering from an early-season hand injury, junior guard, DeJon Jarreau, scored a season-high 14 points to go along with six assists.
"As my hand keeps getting better, just going into this game with more confidence was important for me," Jarreau said. "Just doing the things I know I can do to help the team win and playing like a mature point guard."
In the loss, Myles Pierre led the Huskies with 15 points, while Ian DuBose recorded 13 points and five rebounds. Following the win, the Houston Cougars will look to make it two straight on Wednesday, as they host the Texas State Bobcats inside Fertitta Center in Houston. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT.