UH shot themselves into a potentially year-changing run in the second half to beat Rice Tuesday night. In a 4.5 minute stretch, the Cougars went on a 21-1 run going from down 9 to up 11 with just a minute to go in the game.
How’d they do it? Make shots. The Cougars went 6-for-8 in that stretch including 5 three-pointers, four by Quentin Grimes. At Tudor, Grimes his ‘hello world’ game: 11/17 shooting for 32 points (and 5 assists). Kelvin Sampson called it his payday.
“He deserved to have that game,” Sampson said after the game. “(Quentin) is not afraid of the moment.”
UH’s offensive rebounding played a big part in the win: the Coogs beat the Owls 23-3 in second-chance points including 16-0 in the second half. To drive the point home: the two shots missed during the 21-1 run were both followed by offensive boards and made three-pointers.
In the first half, UH played at Rice’s speed. It was frantic and the Cougars were all out of sorts. Sampson kept changing lineups just looking for anything that would work but after going down 15, he called a 30-second timeout to calm the troops. It worked: UH went on a 12-2 run (on 5/8 shooting) before ending the half down seven.
In the big runs in the first and second halves, UH shot it 11/16 (69%). That streaky shooting should be expected this year as the team learns to play together.
“Eventually (our) guys are going to be good players,” Sampson said confidently after the game. “But it’s not going to be this month. That’s why I have to be a little patient. And I’m not good at that. I know I’m not but I’ve got to be.”
Besides second-chance points, UH beat Rice in bench points (27-11), fast-break points (21-12), points off turnovers (18-15), and even points in the paint (32-28) despite playing five guards much of the game.
For more, check out our mini-podcast breaking down the game:
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