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Friday, September 29, 2023

Men's Basketball

Cougars run away in men’s basketball season opener

Armoni Brooks continued his success from last season in the game against Alabama A&M. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year had 24 points for the Cougars. | Thom Dwyer/ The Cougar

A couple of stellar individual offensive performances and a smothering defense led the way for the Cougars as the men’s basketball season opener ended with a 101-54 landslide win over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs.

The Cougars never trailed Alabama A&M, holding possession of the lead the entire way from its first bucket 43 seconds into the game.

UH’s shooting percentages have cooled off a bit since the exhibition win over Dallas Baptist University, as the team shot a hair over 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from the three-point line.

Defensively, the Cougars were smothering, running a man-to-man defensive scheme on the perimeter while often leaving a big like senior forward Breaon Brady in the paint for help-defense on the Bulldog’s drives to the basket.

The Cougars crashed the glass early and often, finishing the game with 37 rebounds to just 20 rebounds by the Bulldogs.

While freshman guard Nate Hinton was the standout with seven rebounds collected on the afternoon, the rest of the Cougars did an excellent job of rebounding by committee.

Every player that hit the hardwood before garbage time for Houston had at least two rebounds with the exception of senior guard Corey Davis Jr., who likely gets a pass because he was constantly sprinting cross-court looking for outlet passes.

Junior guard Armoni Brooks and Brady appeared un-guardable by anyone in Alabama A&M maroon.

Brooks finished the season opener with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-10 from distance.

Brady did not miss a single shot attempt as he went 6-of-6 for 12 points and five rebounds in the Cougars first regular-season victory.

Per head coach Kelvin Sampson, the Cougars made an in-game adjustment to get Brady more post-touches because the Bulldogs decided to further extend its zone coverage. The adjustment allowed more one-on-one play for Brady near the rim.

With the first win out of the way, the Cougars will host their cross-town rivals, the Rice Owls, next Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. inside the H&PE arena.

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