Junior guard Armoni Brooks made a season-best six 3-pointers while scoring 22 points to lead Houston to a 65-61 victory over No. 18 Oregon on Saturday night in the Cougars’ first game at the renovated Fertitta Center.
Freshman guard Nate Hinton added 14 points to help Houston (6-0) continue its strong start. Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. added 12 points for the Cougars, who also received nine rebounds from Brooks.
Freshman center Bol Bol had 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for Oregon (4-3), which dropped its second straight game. Freshman guard Will Richardson added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, who were upset by Texas Southern on Monday.
Houston prevailed despite shooting just 33.3 percent from the field and making 9 of 35 from 3-point range.
Oregon also struggled with its shooting and made 39.6 percent and 6 of 26 from long range.
The Cougars were pumped up from the outset while playing in their new 7,100-seat digs. Famed Hofheinz Pavilion was renovated following the 2016-17 season at a cost of $60 million and Saturday’s grand opening fell on the 49th anniversary of the first game in Hofheinz.
However, the Ducks recovered from a 19-point, first-half deficit to make Houston sweat out the finish.
Bol’s three-point play pulled Oregon within 62-57 with 37.5 seconds left. He later navigated through traffic for a dunk to cut the Cougars’ lead to 63-61.
But Brooks made two free throws with 8.8 seconds left as Houston closed it out.
Oregon trimmed its first-half deficit to 46-37 on a layup by junior point guard Payton Pritchard with 10:28 remaining.
Houston reasserted control to take a 54-40 lead on a 3-pointer by Brooks with 8:12 left. But the Ducks later made another charge and pulled within 60-52 on Richard’s 3-pointer with 1:39 left.
Brooks and Hinton scored 14 points apiece as the Cougars held a 37-18 halftime lead.
The Cougars went on an 18-3 surge to open up their big lead.
Davis scored five points and Brooks drained a 3-pointer during a run of eight straight Houston points that pushed the advantage to 23-10 with 6:56 remaining in the first.
Richardson converted a three-point play 14 seconds later to pull Oregon within 10. The Cougars answered with 10 straight points with Brooks and Hinton capping the run with 3-pointers to make it 33-13 with 3:43 remaining.
—Field Level Media