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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Men's Basketball

Men’s basketball cruises to home victory over SMU


Rob Gray almost completed the first triple-double of his career Wednesday night, but came up short by just one rebound. Thomas Dwyer/ The Daily Cougar

No. 25 ranked Houston capitalized on an injury-ridden SMU lineup Wednesday night, defeating them comfortably 69-56.

After starting 14-6, SMU lost multiple key players midway through the season and have been in a tailspin ever since, going 2-7 in its last nine games.

Both teams started slow, with SMU holding a 2-0 lead after four minutes of play.

After that, senior guard Rob Gray showed signs of things to come as he heated up the Cougars’ shooting with a pair of twos.

Sophomore guard Armoni Brooks nailed a three, followed by Gray hitting one of his own to gain Houston a 10-2 lead, and the team never looked back

By halftime, Houston earned a 36-24 lead with 43.3 percent shooting by the Cougars to just 29.2 percent accuracy from SMU.

The Mustangs’ shooting improved in the second half, but the Cougars did not cool down. The Mustangs did not get any closer to tying the game as the Cougars closed it out.

SMU’s junior guard Jahmal McMurray did his best in the absence of SMU’s other stars, but it was not enough.

McMurray kept the game in arm’s reach by scoring 17 points, and senior guard Ben Emelogu contributed another 14, but the rest of the team could not keep up.

Gray led the Cougars in points and assists, ending the game with 19 points and nine assists.

Junior guard Corey Davis Jr. had plenty of space all night to shoot three-pointers, making five on the way to scoring 17 points and five rebounds.

Brooks had another successful night from the bench with three three-pointers and 12 points total as well as leading the team with seven rebounds.

Houston plays its final home game of the season on Sunday against Connecticut at the H&PE Arena at 3 p.m. The Huskies are currently 7-10 in conference, 14-16 overall, and will likely end up on the same side of the AAC tournament bracket as the Cougars.

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