Houston locks in on defense, beats Syracuse 62-46 in NCAAs
Now it's taken coach Kelvin Sampson's team somewhere new: the program's deepest NCAA Tournament run since the days of Olajuwon, Drexler and the famed “Phi Slama Jama." That sent the second-seeded Cougars through to their first regional final in 37 years, earning a matchup with No. Houston (27-3) came in holding opponents to a national-low 37.3% shooting, and then harassed Syracuse (18-10) into just 28% (14 for 50). “It’s the best defense that that we’ve seen this year and they deserved to win,” coach Jim Boeheim said. Syracuse had shot at least 52% each time while making 29 3-pointers — but there would be no repeat of that unexpected 2016 Final Four run thanks to Houston's defense.
No. 11 Houston uses big first half to cruise past UCF 75-58
11 Houston used a dominant first half to cruise to a 75-58 win over UCF on Sunday. Houston (11-1, 6-1 American Athletic Conference) won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa. “It was a great game for us,” Houston guard DeJon Jarreau said. “They made a lot of shots to start the first half off and kind of knocked us back,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders.
Rachal's late free throws lift Tulane past No. 5 Houston
(AP Photo/Dave Crenshaw)TULSA, Okla. – Brandon Rachal hit two free throws with a tenth of a second remaining and finished with 22 points as Tulsa topped unbeaten No. Rey Idowu made one of two free throws to give Tulsa a 63-62 lead before Mills put the Cougars ahead. Houston shot just 38% in the first half, but had nine offensive rebounds and scored nine second-chance points. The Cougars lead the American Conference in rebounding margin, turnover margin and steals. Houston shot just 35% from the field, including 19% on 3-pointers (4 of 21) and were unable to overwhelm Tulsa with their physicality, as they have most opponents.