Cougars grind out 68-60 win over Bobcats
The Cougars had a block-party in a 68-60 win as they returned to the court on Wednesday night to host the in-state rival Bobcats at Fertitta Center.
Houston began the game strong offensively, scoring on four of its first seven shots, which helped UH take an early 9-8 advantage.
Then both teams went on a cold streak.
The first half of the game became a struggle offensively for both teams as neither team could get the ball through the net, especially the Cougars, who went over four minutes of game time without scoring a single point and were stuck at 14.
The Bobcats did not fare much better during that stretch, managing to score seven points, enough for them to take the lead and build on it.
Texas State led 18-14 until a jumper by redshirt junior guard DeJon Jarreau ended Houston’s cold spell.
Senior Nijal Pearson led the Bobcats with eight points at the half. The guard made a couple of tough contested jumpers, which provided Texas State with points on possessions it looked like Houston had defended well.
Junior forward Fabian White led the way for the Cougars in the first half with 11 points.
Overall, the first half was sloppy for both teams, combining for 13 turnovers and 19-of-48 shooting from the field at halftime.
In the second half, the Cougars came out with more firepower, outscoring the Bobcats 13-6, helping build a six-point lead for Houston at 41 to 35.
Texas State stayed close in the game, however, and did not allow Houston to create any more separation.
The game got chippy towards the middle of the second half after Jarreau blocked the shot of Bobcats’ guard Shelby Adams and stood over him.
Adams quickly got up and shoved Jarreau to the floor, which was quickly separated by the referees. Both players got technicals.
Following the scuffle, both teams took turns exchanging baskets.
The Cougars held the lead for most of the period, and a big reason for it was their defense.
Houston had 9 blocks, and they all came in the second half.
The Cougars were able to build their lead up to six after a big offensive rebound from redshirt senior Chris Harris Jr. who was then able to find Grimes for the three, which gave Houston a lot of momentum.
On the other end, Grimes came up with a stop on Pearson, who tried to pull up for a 3-pointer that could have cut the lead back to three, but it was blocked by the 6-foot 5-inch sophomore, which essentially sealed the 68-60 victory.
The Cougars finished with 43 rebounds, 10 blocks and shot 19 of 53 from the field, making five 3-pointers.
Grimes, despite not practicing for much of the week leading up to the game with a bruised tibia, led the Cougars with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Houston travels to South Carolina to play a weekend game against the Gamecocks on Sunday afternoon.