No. 3 Houston Cougars hung on to defeat UCF

No want to attend for the Huge 12. The Houston-UCF rivalry is alive and effectively.

The sport that at instances reigned supreme on Saturday afternoon slowed down because the third seeded Cougars escaped with a 71-65 victory over the upset Knights earlier than a crowd of seven,457 on the Fertita Heart.

“We might not have gotten the fastball at this time, however we discovered a solution to win,” mentioned coach Kelvin Sampson. “That is what’s vital is discovering a solution to win while you’re not having your finest.”

J’Wan Roberts sparked a second half comeback with eight straight factors because the Cougars improved to 14-1 total and 2-0 within the American Athletic Convention. UCF worn out a 14-point lead with a scorching begin to begin the second half and a 54-52 lead on a 3-pointer by Ethel Horton with 7 minutes, 37 seconds remaining.

Roberts, the small ahead of the Cougars 6-7, adopted with eight straight factors within the span of 95 seconds.

“We all the time have a objective on our again,” mentioned Roberts, who completed with 12 factors and 5 rebounds. “Simply play cool and do not let it get to us.”

New Yr’s Decision #1: Do not piss off Tramon Mark.

The 2 sides needed to be separated early within the first half when Mark scuffled with UCF guard Darius Johnson and fell to the bottom. When Mark tried to stand up, TV replays confirmed Johnson pushing him down. Johnson was hit by a Flagrant-1 foul.

“That is the improper man going loopy,” UH guard Jamal Sheed mentioned of Mark. “It is quiet, but electrical.”

Mark went on a tear, scoring 13 factors throughout a dominant 23-6 run because the Cougars took their largest lead, 32-18.

“My teammates had been discovering me, and I used to be getting the precise photographs,” mentioned Mark, who scored 17 of his career-high 19 factors within the first half. “I felt good and had momentum. I used to be simply rolling with it within the first half.”

Over the course of 6-minutes, Mark made a pair of free throws, a 3-pointer in entrance of the UCF bench, one other 3-pointer, a birdie and three factors after being fouled.

“He is a extremely good participant,” mentioned UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, whose workforce will be part of UH, Cincinnati and BYU within the Huge 12 subsequent summer season. “He is explosive. He can create a variety of issues for you. I feel to a big extent towards us within the first half he confirmed his full ammunition. He gave them an enormous increase within the first half.”

After the gamers had been separated, Sampson mentioned sport officers had been on “excessive alert.”

“Often the antennae break off, so do not give it a go,” Sampson mentioned. “Generally being a man is not vindictive or being massive and unhealthy. He stays out of bother and makes the choice that is finest to your workforce. Generally you need to let go of your particular person battles and deal with what’s finest for the workforce. I believed our guys did an ideal job at that.”

The Cougars saved their cool once more late within the sport when the Knights (10-4, 1-1 AAC) opened up with a 9-0 halftime lead. After the Cougars took a 62-56 lead, the Knights answered with three free throws and a dunk by Taylor Hendricks to shut inside 62-61.

Nevertheless, UH completed the sport with 9 free throws within the last two minutes. It was a wrestle at instances for the Cougars, who began a sport capturing 11-of-20 however had been 13-of-44 for the remainder of the sport. Sampson attributed UCF’s defensive effectivity, which he referred to as “elite”, to being among the many prime 30 nationally.

“(UCF) performed robust and it was bodily,” mentioned Sampson. “We bought up (14) and had the chance to push them and provides them some life.”

UH improved to 6-1 this season in quarter video games 1 and a pair of, a part of the NET rankings used to find out the sector of the NCAA event.

“We went via hardships, a variety of management adjustments, a variety of momentum altering once they took the lead,” mentioned Marcus Sasser, who had 18 factors. “We did not go too low and simply stayed within the lane. We saved combating and attempting to win each possession.”

Johnson led the California Union with 17 factors and eight rebounds.

Leave a Comment