Corey Davis Jr.’s last second basket sent Houston to Sunday’s fourth-place game at the Paradise Jam in Lynchburg, Va., where it will meet Wake Forest. Davis’ heroics allowed the Cougars to survive a nip-and-tuck battle with host Liberty 68-66 on Saturday and will give them a chance to leave the tournament with two victories should they defeat the Demon Deacons.
Much like their opening-round loss to Drexel, the Cougars couldn’t put the Flames away and it nearly cost them in the end. Wayne VanBeck and Breaon Brady bounced back from tough outings against the Dragons, which saw them combine for four points on 1-of-10-shooting in the 84-80 loss. VanBeck accounted for 18 points and six rebounds and Brady recorded his second double-digit rebounding game of the season with 11 boards for the Cougars. Even without leading scorer Keyshawn Woods, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons, the Demon Deacons had little trouble disposing of Quinnipiac 72-55 in the consolation round to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1949-50.
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, No TV
ABOUT HOUSTON (2-1): Perhaps trying to take a backseat and get his teammates more involved, Rob Gray didn’t score his first points until 7:12 remaining in the first half, but still managed to finish with a game-high 19 points for the Cougars. Gray, who had 16 points in the second half, hit a 3-pointer with 7:28 remaining to erase Liberty’s final lead and scored nine points in the final 4:33, including two field goals and three free throws, all of which extended a slim advantage for the Cougars. Devin Davis had 12 points and five rebounds for Houston in the win.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (1-3): Bryant Crawford and Chaundee Brown combined for 21 points in the first half as the Demon Deacons doubled up on the Bobcats, who lost a heartbreaker to Colorado in the opener round. The duo finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for Wake Forest, which limited Quinnipiac to 28.8 percent shooting from the field. Sophomore forward Donovan Mitchell, who was held scoreless in the first two games and didn’t play in the opening round loss to Drake, had eight points and five assists - both career highs.
1. Houston has lost all 11 games against teams from the ACC since defeating Wake Forest in the Elite Eight and Virginia in overtime in the Final Four in the 1984 NCAA Tournament.
2. Crawford hit a 3-pointer 3:55 into Saturday’s game to become the 52nd player in Wake Forest history to reach 1,000 career points.
3. Gray, who has 1,111 career points, needs 221 points to tie Hakeem Olajuwon for 20th.
PREDICTION: Wake Forest 79, Houston 75