Wed, 27 Jan 2021

No. 17 Houston outlasts No. 14 Texas Tech

Field Level Media
30 Nov 2020, 11:19 GMT+10

Solid defense will camouflage a lot of problems and Houston is a team built around success on that end of the court.

That turned out to be advantageous Sunday when the 17th-ranked Cougars were oppressively good on defense in a 64-53 win over 14th-ranked Texas Tech in a top-20 matchup in Fort Worth.

Houston held on down the stretch despite going the final 12:27 without a made field goal -- a drought that supplied some fuel for a furious Red Raiders rally.

Marcus Sasser led the Cougars (3-0) with 17 points and Quentin Grimes added 15. Houston was clutch at the free-throw line, hitting 16-of-21 -- a vast difference from Texas Tech's frustrating night at the stripe (13-of-24).

Texas Tech also shot just 22.2 percent from the 3-point line.

Mac McClung's 16 points paced the Red Raiders, but his struggles typified his team's: He was 0-for-6 from 3-point territory and 3-for-11 from the floor overall. Freshman Micah Peavy scored 12 points before fouling out late in the game.

Despite their early struggles, the Red Raiders (2-1) charged back into contention after the deficit ballooned to 53-33 when Sasser swished a 3-pointer with 12:27 left in the game. That was Houston's last make from the floor, though, and Texas Tech -- sparked by its defense -- seized advantage by clawing back as close as 55-48 on two McClung free throws at the 5:30 mark.

Following a script similar to Houston's from the first half, the Red Raiders created turnovers (nine in the second half) and scored 16 points off the Cougars' miscues to climb back.

Every time Texas Tech made a charge, though, Houston had an answer, most of the time from the foul stripe. Freshman Tramon Mark knocked down 5-of-7 to help the Cougars convert 12-of-16 when they couldn't buy a basket.

Houston led 37-19 at halftime because Texas Tech struggled to find anything on the offensive end. The Red Raiders shot 33.3 percent (7 of 21) and turned the ball over 12 times, which led to 17 Cougars points.

--Field Level Media

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