The No. 5 Cougars held on for their second straight win, topping the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday afternoon, 67-62.
Cougars looked to be cruising toward a win early on in the first half going up as much as 14, however, Cincinnati refused to go away easily and began to pressure the Coogs on both ends of the court.
The Bearcats mounted a 15-2 run gaining their first lead of the day with just over one minute to go in the period. J’Wan Roberts put the Coogs on the board seconds before the first buzzer sounded after being held scoreless for over four minutes. The Cougars trailed at the half 32-29 for the third time this season.
Roberts came up big for Houston just short of a double-double scoring 20 points including a putback dunk to regain the lead and pulling down eight rebounds.
Jamal Shead made his presence known in the second half, giving life back to the Cougars by adding 16 points and 4 rebounds.
Up 10 late in the game, back-to-back turnovers gave the Bearcats hope as they went on yet another 7-0 run to make it a one-possession game. A jumper by senior guard L.J. Cryer would widen the lead for Houston.
Foul trouble hurt the Coogs, Cryer and Ja’vie Francis ranking up four each. Cryer sat most of the second half before coming back late in the game to help seal the win.
The Cougars would hold on to win. Up next, they will head back to the Fertitta Center for a match-up against the University of Texas on Feb. 17.