No. 12 Hous­ton de­feats No. 25 Cincin­nati, 63-58

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS -

HOUS­TON—Hous­ton coach Kelvin Samp­son has made de­fense a big part of the Cougars’ DNA.

With No. 25 Cincin­nati threat­en­ing an up­set on Hous­ton’s home court, the 12th-ranked Cougars clamped down com­pletely.

Hous­ton held Cincin­nati score­less over the fi­nal 6:11, staving off the Bearcats 65-58 on Sun­day for a key Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence win.

“That’s what coach preaches ev­ery day at prac­tice,” DeJon Jar­reau said. “We de­fend and re­bound. We go at it, we com­pete. We try our best to carry it over to the game be­cause that’s our cul­ture. If you aren’t buy­ing into our cul­ture, you aren’t play­ing.”

Jar­reau scored 14 of his 16 points in the se­cond half and added eight re­bounds and five as­sists. He scored 11 con­sec­u­tive points in the se­cond half, in­clud­ing six straight to give Hous­ton a 63-58 lead with 3 ½ min­utes left.

“I just took what they gave me,” Jar­reau said. “They were on our shoot­ers, so that gave me a lane to go and make a play.”

Corey Davis Jr. also had 16 points. Davis and Jar­reau each made free throws in the fi­nal 20 sec­onds to seal it for the Cougars (23-1, 10-1).

“To win as many games as we have, you have to win so many dif­fer­ent ways,” Hous­ton coach Kelvin Samp­son said. “I don’t know of­fen­sively if there’s a con­stant with us. If there is a con­stant, it’s that there is some­body that steps up.”

Hous­ton en­tered Sun­day rank­ing se­cond na­tion­ally in field goal per­cent­age de­fense, third in 3-point per­cent­age de­fense and sev­enth in scor­ing de­fense.

“That’s the way we prac­tice,” Samp­son said. “Outre­bound­ing teams, de­fend­ing, what­ever ac­tion it might be.”

Galen Robin­son Jr. had 10 points for Hous­ton, which won its eighth straight and ex­tended its home win­ning streak to 32 games. Hous­ton shot 49 per­cent from the field.

Jar­ron Cum­ber­land scored 27 points on 9-of-25 shoot­ing, and Cane Broome added 10 points for Cincin­nati (20-4, 9-2), which had its eight-game win­ning streak snapped. The Bearcats shot 33 per­cent from the field, in­clud­ing 27 per­cent in the se­cond half.

“We came out on the short end of the stick,” Cincin­nati coach Mick Cronin said. “We didn’t fin­ish get­ting the ball in the bas­ket around the rim. They had nine blocked shots. That was the dif­fer­ence in the game.”

Af­ter tak­ing a 58-57 lead on Cum­ber­land’s 3-pointer with 6:11 left, Cincin­nati missed its last 11 field goals.

“We missed two front ends of a 1-and-1; we couldn’t fin­ish around the rim,” Cronin said. “Give their de­fense credit, we didn’t han­dle it the way we needed to han­dle it.”

Hous­ton led 34-33 at the half be­hind Davis’ 11 points.

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