Houston claws out win against Rio Grande
What was expected to be a comfortable victory turned out to be anything but as Houston defeated UT Rio Grande Valley 58-53 Wednesday night.
The Vaqueros and Cougars were neck and neck for most of the game and there were 18 lead changes, but Houston came out on top. Houston finishes with a 19-0 record while using the H&PE Arena as its home court since the 2017-18 season.
Houston was coming off a win against BYU to keep the team undefeated while UT Rio Grande Valley was 5-3.
The teams got off to a slow start, and it took almost three minutes for the first basket to be scored. Junior guard Armoni Brooks got the scoring started with a signature three-pointer from the corner to take the lead.
Rio Grande Valley would take the lead a little bit later, and the game stayed in the single digits for most of the first eight minutes.
Houston had a nine-point lead at one point, but as the half went on, the team started to miss key shots.
Redshirt sophomore Brison Gresham led the Cougars through the first half with a pair of dunks, a shot and two free-throws. Freshman Nate Hinton was Houston’s other leader in the first half while the usual leading scorers like Brooks and senior Corey Davis Jr. were quiet.
RGV was able to take a 23-21 lead just before the half, and a big part of that was rebounding.
RGV out-rebounded UH 27 to 17 in the first half, and this gave the away team the chances it needed. The Vaqueros also distributed the ball around, as nine different players scored at least two points in the first half.
Davis Jr. finally got his first basket in the second minute of the second half, and it spurred a Houston rally to take back the lead. After that, Davis Jr. started to find his groove and nailed a pair of three-pointers.
Brooks finally got his second basket of the game with 11 minutes left and did it with a signature three.
With Davis Jr. starting to make shots, it put more pressure on Rio Grande Valley, but the squad always had an answer for Houston.
Davis Jr. finished the game with 23 points, two assists and 12 rebounds. Though he had a quiet night, it was Brooks that made the three-point shot that the Cougars needed to take the lead permanently.
After the game, head coach Kelvin Sampson talked about how TSU welcomed UH onto the campus and thanked the university for helping them.
Houston will move into Fertitta Center for its next game when it faces No. 18 Oregon at 8 p.m. Saturday.