December 29, 2018 / 11:24 PM / 5 months ago

No. 22 Houston overcomes slow start to go 13-0

Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. scored 19 points and sophomore guard Dejon Jarreau added 13 as No. 22 Houston recovered from a slow start to remain undefeated with a 80-59 nonconference victory Saturday over visiting New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Houston (13-0), which started the day as one of five unbeaten teams in the country, extended its home winning streak to 26 games, the longest such streak in the country. It is the program’s best undefeated start since the 1967-68 Cougars opened 31-0.

Sophomore guard Zach Cooks scored 20 points as NJIT (11-3) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end. Cooks, who entered scoring 21.9 points over his previous nine games, had eight points in the first half.

Sophomore forward Brison Gresham scored 11 points and junior guard Armoni Brooks added 10 for the Cougars. Jarreau left the game with 2:14 to play after he injured his left ankle.

Junior guard Shyquan Gibbs and senior guard Diandre Wilson each scored 10 points for the Highlanders.

The Cougars’ size advantage ultimately won out as Houston held a 48-33 rebounding advantage and outscored NJIT 46-14 in the paint. Houston also led 35-12 in bench points.

Houston trailed 11-2 less than three minutes into the game and was down 18-8 with 12:21 remaining in the first half before momentum shifted. The Cougars went on an 11-0 run to lead 19-18 with 6:53 remaining before the break.

Houston closed out the first half on a 6-1 run to take a 27-23 lead at halftime. It was all Cougars in the second half as Houston scored 24 of the first 30 points after the break to pull away.

Houston opened just 3 of 13 from the field (0-for-6 from 3-point range) and was 12 of 33 (36.4 percent) at halftime.

Houston’s 13 nonconference victories top the 12 by the 1954-55 team and are the most since the Cougars have been a member of a conference. It was the first meeting between Houston and NJIT.

Houston will move onto American Conference play, at home against Tulsa on Wednesday. NJIT will play one more nonconference game Monday at Duquesne, before moving on to Atlantic Sun Conference play at home against Kennesaw State on Jan. 5.

—Field Level Media

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