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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Men's Basketball

Offense shines in men’s basketball exhibition win


Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. (left) will be counted on to lead the team. His performance is vital to the Cougars’ success. | Jackson Gatlin/ The Cougar

A series of early triples by senior Corey Davis Jr. pushed the Cougars from a 4-4 tie game to a 13-4 lead, allowing the team to cruise its way to an 89-60 rout of DBU.

As a team, the Cougars shot a respectable 48.5 percent from the field and a blistering 40 percent from long-range, with Davis Jr. accounting for nine of Houston’s 14 successful three-pointers.

Redshirt freshman Cedrick Alley Jr. played his first game as a Cougar since suffering a hip injury that sidelined him for the entirety of last season. Alley Jr. had a strong game after returning to the hardwood, finishing the exhibition match with a double-double of 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds.

“Honestly, in the first half I was pretty nervous,” Alley Jr. said. “Second half, coach told me to just play hard and let the game come to me. He emphasized rebounding, and that’s what I did.”

Davis Jr. was easily the player of the game for UH.

The veteran guard was a sniper for the Cougars from behind the arc throughout the 2017-2018 season, and he continued that trend. He dominated the entire game for Houston from the tip until the final buzzer, going 9-of-13 from distance and racking up an impressive 27 points. The Cougar guard finished the game with as many three-pointers made as the entire DBU roster combined.

After graduating key seniors like Rob Gray, Wes VanBeck and Devin Davis last year, head coach Kelvin Sampson will rely heavily on Davis Jr. and other current seniors for guidance and leadership.

“As seniors, we have to help these young guys understand our defensive principles,” Davis Jr. said. “It’s not going to happen overnight, we know that for sure, but as long as they’re playing hard and giving it their all, then that’s all we can ask for.”

With the exhibition game in the books, the Cougars will look ahead to the first game of the regular season against Alabama A&M on Nov. 10 at the H&PE Arena.

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