EditorsNote: many changes, such as: 1st graf, should be 19th-ranked, not 17th ranked; 3rd graf, should be six of seven, not five of six
Junior guard Armoni Brooks scored 16 of his team-high 22 points in the second half and the 19th-ranked Houston Cougars extended their homecourt winning streak to 28 consecutive games with a 90-77 victory over the Memphis Tigers on Sunday.
Brooks drilled 6 of 11 3-pointers and thwarted the Tigers repeatedly in the second half as the Cougars (15-0, 2-0) remained one of three unbeaten teams in the nation along with Michigan and Virginia. Houston completed its season-long seven-game homestand with consecutive American Athletic Conference wins, thriving on their stifling defense and their continuing dominance on the glass.
Memphis, which entered play having won six of seven games and leading the AAC in scoring at 85.1 points per contest, surrendered 18 offensive rebounds and committed 17 turnovers. The Tigers trailed 45-34 at the intermission and cut that deficit with several rallies in the second half, only for Brooks to respond with momentum-stalling 3-pointers, the final two keying the decisive run.
Tigers senior forward Kyvon Davenport sparked a 10-0 run with eight consecutive points before Brooks’ 3-pointer at the 16:54 mark extended the Houston lead to 53-46. Memphis clawed back to within 57-51 before Brooks sank 3-pointers at the 13:17 mark and with 11:19 remaining, part of a 17-4 blitz that concluded with a Dejon Jarreau layup for a 74-55 lead.
Senior guard Kareem Brewton Jr. paced the Tigers with 25 points, while Davenport added 17. Senior guard Jeremiah Martin chipped in 16 and was the lone starter to reach double figures.
Nate Hinton scored 19 off the Houston bench, while Jarreau added 10 points and six assists in reserve. Senior guards Corey Davis Jr. and Galen Robinson Jr. scored 11 points apiece for the Cougars, with Robinson adding seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals.
The Cougars shot only 40.5 percent prior to the intermission but were again saved by their handiwork on the offensive boards, parlaying 10 offensive rebounds into eight second-chance points and a plus-13 advantage in shot attempts. The Cougars used an 8-0 run to secure a 32-20 lead they would not relinquish and turned 10 first-half turnovers by the Tigers into 13 points.
—Field Level Media