No. 7 Cougars roll vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 82-50
The No. 7 Houston Cougars grabbed their second win of the year Saturday afternoon, soundly beating Texas A&M Corpus Christi at home 82-50.
The Cougars came out to a sluggish start, falling behind 12-7 before embarking on a 12-0 run led primarily by sophomore guard Ramon Walker Jr. off of the bench.
“That’s his job. He’s an energy guy,” said head coach Kelvin Sampson after the game. “It’s his greatest strength.”
Houston led 41-27 at halftime after senior guard L.J. Cryer knocked down a three as time expired. Cryer led the way in the first half with 12 points.
The Cougars came out of the second half energized, jumping out to a 16-3 run thanks to suffocating defense holding the Islanders without a point for over five minutes. Junior center Ja’Vier Francis made his presence known with three dunks including an alley-oop from sophomore guard Emanuel Sharp.
Francis finished the game with 13 points and was excellent at protecting the rim swatting a career-high five shots.
Houston attempted 34 free throws in the game, making 20, but struggled for much of the game. However, Sampson pointed to the team’s ability to draw fouls as a strength.
“One of the biggest differences in this team from last year’s team is the ability to get to the free throw line,” Sampson said. “We’ll have nights where we make free throws.”
After a scoreless first half, Sharp got hot scoring 11 points in a five-minute span. Fellow sophomore guard Terrance Arceneaux played well defensively grabbing eight rebounds while tallying a steal and a block while committing no fouls.
Sampson spoke on the improvement of last year’s young players entering this season.
“They just needed to play. They just needed an opportunity,” Sampson said. “Terrance is getting better; Ja’Vier has got a ceiling that he’s reaching.”
Redshirt senior forward J’Wan Roberts led all scorers and rebounders with 17 points and nine boards.
UH improved to 2-0 and will stay at home to play Stetson on Monday night.