UPDATE: Defense leads UH to semifinals, will face GA Tech
Update: Georgia Tech defeated Boise State in the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic 74-60 and will face Houston in the semifinals on Monday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets turned up the defensive intensity in the second half of the game against the Broncos, limiting them to only 29 points in the period. Georgia Tech had seven steals and five blocks in the win.
The Cougars were victorious as their stifling defense held the Pilots to only 56 points, which ties the lowest score an opponent has put up against Houston this regular season, in the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
Houston jumped on Portland from the opening tip, getting a 6-0 lead, and they never looked back.
After the Pilots were able to cut the lead to four at 11-7, the Cougars extended their lead to 11 points, and they were able to keep Portland at bay for the entire game.
Even though Houston’s 3-point shooting was still sub-par for the game, only 8-22, the defensive performance is what carried the team to their dominating win and kept the Pilots grounded for the entire afternoon.
Houston forced Portland to shoot a dreadful 35 percent from the field.
For the game, Houston forced 16 turnovers, which they were able to convert into 17 points, had 12 steals and five blocks.
Redshirt senior Chris Harris Jr. anchored Houston’s defense in the paint with three blocks and added 13 points.
Sophomore guard Nate Hinton stuffed the stats sheet as he finished a point away from his sixth double-double of the season with nine points, 10 rebounds and added in three steals.
Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes, who came into the game shooting 2/15 in the past two games, broke out of his slump with 18 second-half points on 7/11 shooting from the field.
Junior guard Malcolm Porter led the Pilots with 11 points.
The Cougars finished the game outrebounding the Pilots by 13.
Houston had 40 rebounds in total and shot 50 percent from the field (32-64).
Houston is back in action on Monday afternoon as they will face Georgia Tech.