DALLAS (AP) — Quentin Grimes hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to ignite a 10-0 run to start the second half for No. 5 Houston and the Cougars rebounded from their first loss with a 74-60 victory over previously undefeated SMU on Sunday night.
That 3-pointer by Grimes from the top of the key to put Houston (8-1, 3-1 American) ahead to stay on the first shot after halftime and Justin Gorham then made a 3. Grimes also had a layup and two free throws in that game-turning run in just over 2 1/2 minutes.
Marcus Sasser led Houston with 17 points, and Gorham had 11 points and 19 rebounds. DeJon Jarreau scored 15 points.
Kendric Davis led SMU (6-1, 2-1) with 23 points. Feron Hunt had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Ethan Chargois scored 10 points.
Grimes, Houston’s leading scorer at 18.5 points a game and second in the AAC only to Davis’ 19.2 coming in, finished with 11 points. He was scoreless with only one shot before halftime, when he played only eight minutes after two early fouls.
The Mustangs had the largest lead of the first half when Chargois followed his missed 3-pointer that would have snapped a tie with assists on consecutive impressive baskets that made it 30-25 with 2:39 left in the first half, though they led by only one at the break.
Hunt rebounded the missed 3 and got the ball back to Chargois at the top of the key, for his quick pass to Davis for a tiebreaking 3. Chargois then had a steal, but instead of going all the way to score on the breakaway, he did an underhand scoop to bank the ball off the backboard to Hunt for an emphatic dunk.
THINGS GOT TESTY
Yor Anei, the transfer forward from Oklahoma State playing only his third game for SMU, had a bad pass with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Jamal Shead stole the ball and fed an alley-oop pass to Justin Gorham, but he was fouled hard by Anei when going up for the shot. The two big men were tangled up after coming down hard on the floor. Jarreau elbowed Anei after he got up, and there was some other shoves. Jarreau and SMU’s Darius McNeill were both assessed technical fouls.
Houston: The Cougars are one-tenth of a second from still being undefeated. They lost Tuesday night on the road when Tulsa made two free throws with 0.1 left. Houston made that big run to start the second half stand up to avoid consecutive losses.
SMU: The Mustangs had been 4-0 at home this season, and had won 19 of their previous 21 at Moody Coliseum.
When the Cougars moved up to No. 5 last week, it was their highest ranking since the Phi Slama Jama days with Hakeem Olajuwon when they were No. 5 in the final poll of 1983-84, the same season they lost to Georgetown in the national championship game. With three Top 10 teams losing games Saturday, including No. 3 Kansas, Houston may not fall too far — if at all — after coming back with a win over an SMU team that had been undefeated. The Mustangs had been getting votes, but were far from being ranked.
Houston plays five of its next six games at home, starting Wednesday night against Wichita State.
SMU plays the second of three home games in a row Thursday against Cincinnati.
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