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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Men's Basketball

Houston cleans up Northwestern in tune up game ahead of road trip


Junior guard Armoni Brooks led the Cougars against Northwestern while senior Corey Davis Jr. had to sit on the bench. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Basketball improves to 3-0 on the year after exorcising the Northwestern State Demons by a score of 82-55.

After a slow start in the first half, Houston hit its groove offensively and outscored Northwestern State 43-27 in the second half on its way to its third victory of the season.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson tweaked his starting lineup by inserting freshman guard Nate Hinton and sophomore Brison Gresham in place of senior guard Corey Davis Jr. and senior forward Breaon Brady.

Davis Jr. did not wind up seeing the hardwood until the second half of the game, and the reason was revealed post game. He arrived late.

“I try not to make a big deal out of that, but the foundation of our program has always been discipline,” said Sampson. “Corey’s a great kid, Corey’s a rock. I told him good people make mistakes too.”

Whenever junior guard Armoni Brooks needed to check out, and without Davis Jr. on the floor during the first half, Northwestern State utilized an effective zone defense that forced Houston to work hard for its shots.

Passes that would normally land in the palms of willing-shooters Brooks and Davis Jr. were instead finding their way to less trigger-happy Cougars, leading to some stagnation on the offensive end.

After a stretch near halftime of about five or six scoreless offensive possessions, the Cougars called a timeout and came back out having found a way to score the rock against the Demons defense.

Houston had five different players in double figures by the end of the night against NSU, including 10 first half bench points from redshirt senior Landon Goesling.

Without Davis Jr. available during the first half of action, there were more shots to go around, and Goesling made the most of his time on the court.

He finished the game with 13 points on just 2-of-6 shooting but went to the free throw line a whopping 12 times where he shot 8-of-12.

The next game for the Cougars will be the first contest on the road as the team takes on BYU Saturday Nov. 24.

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