Thursday, February 23, 2017

UConn Huskies fall to Houston Cougars 75-70

Damyean Dotson (21) scored 25 points
and had nine rebounds against UConn.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

(To access the slideshow from the game by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography, please click here.)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 22, 2017) The UConn Huskies jumped out to a 39-29 lead at halftime and but could not contain the offense punch of the Houston Cougars in the second half and dropped a 75-70 decision at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. The Cougars raised their American Athletic Conference record to 10-5 with three games to go on their regular season schedule. The win placed the Cougars in sole possession of third place in conference standings.

Rob Gray (32) scored 16 of UH's 75 points.
Photo by Darla S. Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
The Cougars, who seemed like a different team in the second half, outscored the Huskies 46-31 in the final 20 minutes. Starting guard Damyean Dotson, who scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds, led the Cougars in scoring. Rob Gray tallied 16 points in Houston's winning effort with Devin Davis adding 11. Kyle Meyer, who seemed to be all over the court scored nine points with 11 rebounds. The Huskies had three players in double-digits; Jalen Adams (18), Vance Jackson (16) and Rodney Purvis (11).

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson was talked about the Cougars performance after the game.
“Obviously UConn did a good job of punching us in the first half. I didn’t think we responded well. In the second half, there was no raised voices, no panicking. If we are the better team, then we are going to win, and we felt like we were. We came out and made some adjustments to our zone. Our zone was a better force in this game coming in because of Jalen Adams’ ability to get in the paint. He’s really good in the pick and roll so we made a couple adjustments in our zone. We started competing harder. It really comes down to what you say or do at halftime. Simple adjustment of the zone and staying with it. These two guys, Kyle Meyer and Damyean Dotson are playing like seniors. Kyle Meyer played his best game since he’s been here. Dotson got back on the boards. For people to say that Dotson is just a scorer are losing sight of what he is really good at. Last couple games he hasn’t, but Dotson is only one of two guys that is ranked in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding in this league. Look at the position he plays, that is pretty special. We played smart but we did not shoot the ball well. Rob (Gray), Galen (Robinson) and Wes (VanBeck) were 3-22. Digest that for a minute, two of them are outstanding shooters. Rob 3-10, Wes 0-4 and Galen 1-8. Our back court was 3-22 and we won the game. It’s because we defended and rebounded. Look at their (UConn’s) size, how big they are. We won the boards. If Dotson didn’t get 9 and Kyle didn’t get 11 we aren’t going to win the boards. The combination of Devin (Davis) and Danrad (Knowles) was really well tonight. Devin and Danrad did some good things. Collectively, they were pretty good. It’s good to get to 19 wins. It’s good to get to third place and get to our 10th conference win. It is that time of year, as soon as the game is over"

Houston is 2-0 against UConn this season, beating the Huskies 62-46 on December 28, 2016 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Next up for the Cougars is a February 26 match-up against Memphis and a March 2  game against No. 15/16 Cincinnati. Both games are on the road. They will return to Hofheinz on March 5 for their final regular season game against East Carolina.

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