Wednesday, January 20

No. 5 Houston hopes to bounce back at SMU


Fifth-ranked Houston made just 35.7 percent of his shots, including 4 of 21 from 3-point range, when they suffered a 65-64 loss at Tulsa on Tuesday to end their undefeated start to the season.

The Cougars (7-1, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) will look to regain their shooting touch when they face SMU (6-0, 2-0) on Sunday in Dallas.

When asked about poor shooting, Houston coach Kelvin Sampson immediately addressed a concern that had nothing to do with shooting bricks from long range.

” The scoreboard keeps track of the points,” he said, “but you know, we didn’t protect the dribble well. After a while, it was five bases, and that takes away one of our strengths, which is the offensive rebound.” .

” Our defense has been good, but these kids are human beings. We’re not going to win every game, and it was just a matter of time. When you lose, you always question yourself, and I’m the first person to ask when we lose.” .

The Cougars weren’t entirely terrible on defense in Tulsa, which made just 41.7 percent from the field. Houston also forced 14 turnovers and gained a 38-35 lead on the glass. However, the Cougars stumbled over final possession of the game.

In a scrambled court situation after Caleb Mills launched a baseline jump to put Houston up by one with 6.3 seconds left, the Cougars allowed Brandon Racial to split several defenders on the left wing and win the lane. .

A foul put Racial on the line, and he calmly made both free throws with 0.1 seconds to seal the score. The result spoiled a solid overall effort by Houston’s Quentin Grimes, who had 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Grimes is Houston’s leading scorer at 18.5 points per game, although he has only made 38.3 percent of his field goal attempts.

The Mustangs are coming off a 79-71 win at Temple on Wednesday, when they placed four players in double figures and sank 51.7 percent from the court. Considering SMU remains undefeated, it could sneak into the Top 25 next week with a win over the Cougars.

Voted third in the A AC preseason poll behind Houston and Memphis, SMU counts balance, shooting and rebounding as its assets. Five Mustangs are averaging double-digit points, driven by Kendrick Davis, who scores 19.2 points and discards 7.2 assists per game.

SMU takes good shots (48.1 percent), draws assists on more than 60 percent of its field goals and is also solid from 3-point range at 38.2 percent. Mustangs can also take free throws, at 75.6 percent.

Plus, SMU has real depth for the first time in years. Two of his double-digit scorers at Temple came off the bench, including Darius McNeill, who posted 17 points, a team-high.

” A lot of time has passed with our numbers situations in the last few years,” SMU coach Tim Jankovich said. “I can’t tell you how much better sub is and for things to get better. That’s something very important to us.”

The Mustangs and Cougars split last season’s two-game series, each team prevailing at home.

–Field level media



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