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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Men's Basketball

Freshmen duo’s rebounds lead team past UIW


Freshman forward Fabian White Jr’s 12 rebounds helped the men’s basketball team improve to 4-1 with a win over the Incarnate Word Cardinals. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Freshman forward Fabian White Jr. and redshirt senior forward Devin Davis both picked up double-doubles as the Cougars rolled to an easy 97-58 win over the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals on Saturday night at the H&PE Arena.

The Cougars earned the victory thanks to a stifling, active effort on defense. Showing the Cardinals a zone defense for the majority of the game, they clogged up the passing lanes and forced 19 steals and 22 turnovers.

Those turnovers turned into 33 points for the Cougars. It was the first time all year that they forced an opponent to commit 20-plus turnovers, and their 39-point margin of victory was their largest so far this season.

There was no letup on the offensive end either, as the team shot 53 percent from the floor and 55 percent from 3-point range. This was also the second time in five games the Cougars made at least 10 3s this season. In addition, six Cougars scored double digits, and the bench outscored the Cardinals’ bench by 35 points.

Redshirt senior guard Rob Gray Jr. seems to be trying to reclaim his American Athletic Conference scoring title. Since being suspended for the first game of the season, he has yet to score under double digits and has scored more than 20 points twice.

White did not miss a shot until the second half and was perfect from the free-throw line, going two for two. White and Davis set the tone on the boards the whole night; White grabbed 12, and Davis grabbed 10.

The Cougars’ push to add depth at the forward and center positions has paid off as the team had 46 rebounds on the night. Houston has grabbed at least 40 rebounds in four of their five games this season.

The Cougars’ next game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the University of New Orleans Privateers at the H&PE Arena.

Senior forward Nura Zanna nearly brought the rim down in the second half trying to slam home a putback attempt after a missed layup. The hoop dipped down a considerable amount before Zanna released and the goal shook back into place.

AAC teams went 3-0 Saturday with wins from Memphis and Tulsa as well as the Cougars. The AAC teams are doing well in out-of-season play so far. No team in the top six of the standings has lost more than one game with No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats being the only unbeaten team remaining.

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