Second half comeback sparks Cougars past Huskies
The Cougars fought back from a ten-point deficit in the first half on Wednesday to defeat Connecticut 75-70.
With the comeback, Houston improves to 19-8 overall and 10-5 in the American. With the win, the Cougars retake sole ownership of third place and have swept the regular season series with UConn.
The game started off in UConn’s favor with them pulling ahead 17-6 in the first seven minutes. The Cougars fought to bring it back within three points at 30-27 on the back of two free throws made by redshirt junior Rob Gray. However, in the last four minutes, UConn went on a 9-2 run that gave them a ten point lead going into halftime.
“Obviously UConn did a good job of punching us in the first half. I don’t think we responded well,” head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “In the second half, there were no raised voices, no panicking. If we are the better team, then we are going to win, and we felt like we were.”
Coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Cougars went on an impressive 25-6 run and took the lead 44-43. UConn couldn’t manage to bring the game back within five points until the waning moments.
Redshirt senior guard Damyean Dotson led the Cougars in points with 25, shooting 9-19 from the field (47.3 percent). He was also second on the team in rebounds with nine.
“We just stayed together and believed in each other,” Dotson said. “At halftime, coach (Sampson) preached maturity and that had to come from our seniors. If we stay together, we can overcome anything.”
Redshirt senior Kyle Meyer had one of his most impressive nights, putting up a career-high 11 rebounds, 6 offensive and 5 defensive. He also added 9 points on 3-5 shooting. He did this all while staying out of foul trouble, ending with only three.
Leading scorer Gray added six points and four assists.
“It’s good to get to 19 wins,” Sampson said. “It’s good to get to third place and get to our 10th conference win.”
The Cougars travel to play against Memphis on Sunday. Tipoff is scheduled at 4 p.m. and will air on CBSSN.