No. 21 Houston defeats ECU for fifth-straight win
The Cougars on Wednesday night picked up a 69-59 victory over East Carolina to remain atop the
American Athletic Conference standing.
Both teams opened up playing sloppy offense, combining to go 4-18 from the
field with six turnovers over the opening minutes of the first half.
Sophomore Quentin Grimes came off the bench six minutes into the half and made an immediate
impact by hitting a 3-pointer to put the Cougars up early.
After Grimes’ 3-pointer, the Cougars offense picked up as they began hitting shots and getting to
the free-throw line.
ECU’s Jayden Gardner, however, had an answer for every bucket Houston scored. Gardner,
who had 16 first-half points, scored 12 of his points over a five-minute stretch in the first half.
Houston answered Gardner’s scoring outburst with a streak of their own. Up 21-20 with five
minutes left in the first half, the Cougars closed out the half on a 12-1 run to carry a 33-21 lead
into the locker room.
Redshirt freshman Caleb Mills opened up the second half by knocking down a 3-pointer to
extend Houston’s lead to 15, but East Carolina began to chip away at Houston’s lead and got it down to eight points with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The Cougars, behind Grimes and Mills, responded to East Carolina’s comeback push with
an offensive outburst of their own and built a 21-point lead with six minutes remaining in
The Pirates had one last late-game push, but it fell short as Houston held on and
secured a victory.
Mills led the Cougars in scoring with 18 points, 12 of those in the second half, followed by Grimes, who had 15. Senior center Chris Harris Jr. posted a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and also had a huge night with four blocks.
The Cougars improve to 17-4 on the season and 7-1 in conference play. Houston returns to
action Saturday when they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats.