|Photo by Robert Kelly, Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved.|
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 10, 2016) The Houston Cougars poured it on in the second half, and went on to down the Rhode Island Rams by the score of 82-77 at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Texas on Saturday, December 10, 2016. The win raises the Cougars to 7-2 on the season, while the formally ranked Rams dropped to 6-4. The duo of Rob Gray and Danrad Knowles combined for 55 of the Cougars’ 82 points in the win. Gray, a 6-2 junior from Forest City, North Carolina, scored a season high 30 points and was 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Knowles, who hails from Nassau, Bahamas, punched in 25 points and was 11-of-12 from the line. His 25 points were a career high for the 6-10 senior forward.
Houston took their first lead of the game at the 15:38 mark in the second half; connecting on one of his two three-pointers of the night to give the Cougars a 48-46 lead. From that point on, the game was a give-and-take affair building a 67-62 lead with 6:25 remaining in the game. The Rams battled back to tie the score at 68 at the 3:55 mark. After that, Houston put on the accelerator and jumped out to an eight-point lead with 24 seconds remaining. The Cougars outscored the Rams 14-9 in the final minutes of the game to secure the win.
The win was the fifth in the series against Rhode Island, dating back to December 26, 1964. The Cougars won that matchup 74-68 at home, following it up with wins on February 12, 1989 (85-71) and December 27, 2015 (67-41). Their last two games against the Rams were on the road, with the Cougars winning 102-99 in overtime on November 13, 2006. Last season, they dropped a 67-57 decision at the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island.
Next up for the Cougars will be a 7 p.m. matchup against UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, December 17, 2016., with the home stand continuing against Liberty (December 21 at 7 p.m.) and Harvard (December 23 at 7 p.m.). They kick off their American Athletic Conference schedule on December 28 against Connecticut on December 28 in Hartford.