HOUSTON (AP) — Houston has made it a habit of not letting one loss turn into two.
The Cougars continued that Thursday night.
Caleb Mills had 18 points, Quentin Grimes added 15 and No. 25 Houston beat Tulane 75-62. Nate Hinton added 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Houston (18-5, 8-2 American). The Cougars bounced back after losing to Cincinnati, 64-62, on Saturday.
The Cougars’ formula for regrouping is simple.
“Go to practice the next day, we know what we did wrong and everybody is held accountable,” Hinton said. “The culture of the program. We just don’t want to lose two in a row, and we know losing has repercussions to it. We just got to keep moving forward. It’s a mindset.”
Houston is 15-0 after a loss over the last three seasons.
“We just play,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We don’t get overly excited when we win and when everybody’s sticking their head in the sand when you lose a game or looking for something to be cynical about or critical about, we are not wired that way.”
The Cougars improved to 43-3 at home over the last three seasons.
Teshaun Hightown had 17 points, K.J. Lawson added 13 points and Nobal Days scored 10 points to lead the Green Wave (10-12, 2-8).
Houston shot 54% and made 10 3-pointers. The Cougars also outrebounded Tulane 37-27 and held a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint.
Tulane lost its sixth straight, but coach Ron Hunter said he was encouraged by the way the Green Wave played.
“We played, in my opinion, the best team in the league,” Hunter said. “They’re really good, especially in this building. Our kids kept fighting. We’re a ways from where we need to be in the program.”
Houston used a 24-4 run over a 10-minute stretch of the first half to open up a 29-10 lead on a jumper by Grimes with 4:40 left in the half. Grimes had seven points to lead the run. The Cougars led 39-21 at the half and Tulane got no closer than 10 in the second half.
“It’s been that way all year,” Hunter said of Tulane’s first half offensive struggle. “That’s what’s hurt us all year, especially these last five or six games. We go on these long droughts where we can’t score. In this league against these teams we are playing, you can’t go on the long droughts.”
Tulane: The Green Wave hasn’t defeated a ranked opponent since beating No. 25 NC State on Dec. 22, 1999. Tulane has lost 38 straight games against ranked opponents. … Tulane shot 24% in the first half after starting 2 for 18 from the field.
Houston: The Cougars have not lost consecutive games since March 10-15, 2017, when they lost to UConn in the American Athletic Conference Tournament and Akron in the NIT. The last time Houston lost consecutive regular season games was Jan. 14-21, 2017, when it lost three straight games.
Houston starting guard DeJon Jarreau served a one-game suspension Thursday after biting Cincinnati’s Mamoudou Diarra during a second half scrum on Saturday.
Houston observed a moment of silence before the game in memory of John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter, Alyssa. The three died on Jan. 26 in the helicopter accident that also took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, and four others. Altobelli was a two-year letterman with the Houston baseball team from 1984-85 and served as an assistant coach in 1987.