Quentin Grimes and DeJon Jarreau co-authored a dominating performance as the Houston Cougars turned an extended first-half run into a 98-52 victory over South Florida on Sunday at the Fertitta Center.
Grimes scored 22 points -- all in the first half. Jarreau added 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists for 12th-ranked Houston (20-3, 13-3 American). Jarreau scored eight points to carry Houston to a 15-6 lead by the first media timeout before Grimes caught fire from the perimeter.
Grimes scored 11 consecutive points for the Cougars as part of a 26-0 run that featured three consecutive transition dunks from Fabian White Jr. The third White fast-break basket pushed Houston to a 45-16 lead and South Florida didn't stop the bleeding until Caleb Murphy drilled a 3-pointer at the 3:32 mark of the first half that cut the deficit to 54-19.
The Bulls (8-10, 4-8) went almost eight minutes without scoring following a David Collins free throw with 11:20 left in the first half.
After sinking a career-best eight 3-pointers en route to a career-high 33 points last Thursday against Western Kentucky, Grimes finished 6 of 12 from behind the arc. Grimes scored 16 points during one blistering two-minute stretch and Houston entered the break 10 of 20 on 3s.
The Cougars also thrived defensively prior to the intermission, turning 11 South Florida turnovers into 18 points. Houston led by as many as 38 points in the first half and extended that advantage to 49 points while cruising into the finish line in its penultimate scheduled game.
The Bulls, playing without injured starters Michael Durr and Alexis Yetna, were no match for the Cougars on the interior. Houston finished with a 36-16 advantage in paint points.
White and Justin Gorham scored 10 points apiece for Houston, which finished 15 of 33 (45.5 percent) on 3s. Xavier Castaneda had 11 points and seven boards for the Bulls while Murphy added 10 points.
--Field Level Media