Houston opens NCAA tournament with dominant win
The result was never in doubt as Houston defeated Georgia State 84-55 on Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to begin its 2019 NCAA tournament campaign.
The Cougars have now tied the school record for wins in a season at 32, which was set by the 1983-84 Phi Slama Jama squad that went to the NCAA Finals.
Senior Corey Davis Jr. was electric from the three-point range and made seven threes en route to a 26-point performance.
Houston jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first five minutes as Georgia State struggled to make its signature three-point shots.
The Panthers were able to make it a two-possession game a couple times in the first half, but they could not find consistent shots as the Cougars’ defense was smothering.
Houston outrebounded Georgia State 51-27 overall, 13-7 on offensive rebounds and 38-20 in defensive rebounds. Sophomore Fabian White Jr. led the team with 11 rebounds. The team also had five blocks.
The size of the lead allowed the Cougars to play a lot of its bench players like redshirt freshman Caleb Broodo, who made the first bucket of his career in just his seventh appearance of the season.
Senior Breaon Brady also had a great night with a double-double and just two fouls in the entire game. Brady said he and his teammates were motivated by comments from Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter, who called Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson a ‘grandpa.’
“For their head coach to say that was disrespectful and unacceptable, so that’s why we put on a clinic tonight,” said Brady.
Houston will try to carry the momentum and clean performance into Sunday, when the team plays the winner of Iowa State versus Ohio State, which will take place later Friday night.
UPDATE: Ohio State defeated Iowa State and tip-off for Houston vs Ohio State was scheduled for approximately 7:40 p.m. on Sunday.