No. 22 Cougars looking to atone for loss to Golden Hurricane earlier in the year
The No. 22 Cougars return home to host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Wednesday night at Fertitta Center after splitting a pair of road games.
The Golden Hurricane defeated the Cougars 63-61 in the earlier meeting back on Jan. 11.
“We had our chances,” head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We’re up with a minute and 36 seconds to go, and we just had some breakdowns and they made a couple of great plays.”
In the game, redshirt freshman Caleb Mills, junior guard DeJon Jarreau and freshman guard Marcus Sasser scored 52 of Houston’s 61 points.
On Jan. 13 following the loss, Kelvin Sampson announced he was shaking up the starting lineups, which included moving Sasser into a position he still holds heading into Wednesday’s rematch.
A pair of junior guards in Brandon Rachal, who finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals and Darien Jackson, who had 19 points and also stole the ball three times, led the way for the Golden Hurricane in the win.
On Monday afternoon, Sampson made sure to point out senior forward Martins Igbanu, who the Cougars did a good job defending him in the first meeting, limiting him to only six points and making him commit four turnovers.
Houston’s head coach cited that he is playing much better now than he did back in January and expects him to be a bigger factor.
Igbanu is averaging 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds on the season.
The Golden Hurricane have won eight of their last 10 games, which included going on a six-game winning streak that was ignited by the victory over the Cougars.
Before the win over the Bulls, the Golden Hurricane also defeated the ECU Pirates.
Rachal leads Tulsa in four different categories with 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.
The Golden Hurricane are 17-8, 9-3 against the AAC entering the game.
The game will be at 8 p.m. and will be shown on ESPNU and can be heard on KPRC 950 AM.