Sasser, Grimes shine in UH’s dominant exhibition win
Houston demolished Angelo State 106-42 on Saturday afternoon at the Fertitta Center in UH’s lone exhibition game behind the efforts of guards Marcus Sasser and Nate Hinton.
Sasser, a freshman native of Red Oak, dropped 17 points for the Cougars, while the sophomore Hinton scored a game-high 18.
The Cougars pounced on the Rams from the opening tip, starting the game on a 13-2 run that began with a hook shot from redshirt junior center Brison Gresham.
The lead quickly ballooned up to a twenty-point cushion, and it was 61-25 by halftime.
The second half was no different for the Cougars, starting with a 17-0 run that put them ahead of the Rams by 53 points.
Houston’s biggest lead of the game was 66.
Despite the rout, head coach Kelvin Sampson was not ready to declare Houston a juggernaut.
“I don’t get carried away with scores cause it really means nothing. If we had played poorly tonight, people would have overreacted to that and drawn conclusions,” Sampson said. “Just like tonight, everyone’s going to run around thinking we are better than we actually are.”
Houston’s defense swarmed Angelo State all game long, forcing 18 turnovers and blocking six shots.
A lot of the Rams’ struggles was created by the Cougars’ half-court trap that caused the opposition to cough up the ball multiple times the moment they crossed the line. Twelve of Angelo State’s turnovers were in the first half when Houston ran the trap frequently.
On possessions when Angelo State would actually get a chance to shoot the ball, UH would not allow the Rams to get many second-chance opportunities, only giving up seven offensive rebounds and out-rebounding them 48-23 in total.
“That’s the culture of the program,” sophomore guard Nate Hinton said. “People come and go, but the culture has to stay the same. We preach it every day, to keep getting better every single day defensively.”
Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes finished the game with 16 points, two rebounds and one assist on 6 of 8 shooting from the field in 20 minutes.
“(Grimes) was very unselfish. He’s learning to be a better basketball player,” Sampson said. “He had a lot of hockey assists tonight; he initiated our movement.”
Along with the 17 points, Sasser contributed three rebounds and four assists off the bench.
Overall, the Cougars feel like they still have plenty of room for improvement.
“I feel like everyone is trying to know their spots,” Grimes said. “The team is coming together; we still have a lot to learn and clean up. I think everyone’s game is going to look really good in the next couple of games.”