Coogs Tame Hawks On Slick Court In Annapolis

The #3 Houston Cougars jumped out to an early lead, withstood a mini-rally by St. Joe’s, and won the neutral-site game, 81-55. UH raced to a 17-point lead in the first 8.5 minutes, shooting it well during that initial spurt (10/18) while holding St. Joe’s to 4/12 shooting and six turnovers.

Over the next 20 minutes, though, St. Joes played UH dead even as UH could not handle their zone defense. The Hawks finished just one board shy of the Cougars and outrebounded them offensively.

But the Coogs kept the pressure on and forced 16 turnovers to match SJU’s 16 field goals. The Cougars owned the Hawks in the paint, finishing with a 50-18 advantage. UH also cut off their transition offense, limiting them to just three assists in the game (UH had 18).

In two games, UH’s “guard-oriented” offense has outscored opponents 92-26 inside. It’s early, but the Cougars are #3 in scoring defense, having won games by an average of 33ppg.

J’Wan Roberts continued his stellar early play, putting up 19 points and 12 rebounds. It was the third double-double of his career. Freshman Jarace Walker put up eight boards (he now has 20 in two games) and scored a game-high 23.

A slick floor, just installed by the Naval Academy, was questioned by officials on two occasions in the second half, but the game continued.

Marcus Sasser went cold after a hot start shooting the ball and finished with just seven points on 2/9 shooting. He was 0/3 with three turnovers in the second half, possibly hesitant due to the floor. Shead also had a poor shooting night but dished eight assists.

In a stat we’re tracking all year, UH scored on 39/66 possessions, while St. Joe’s scored on only 26/67. UH is 75/131 (57.3%), while opponents are 42/128 (32.8%) on scoring possessions.

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