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Nate Hinton's 24 points and 15 rebounds leads Houston over HBU

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POSTED: November 27, 2019 -- 7:50 a.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Fertitta Center) -- The Houston Cougars defeated the Houston Baptist Huskies 112-73 Tuesday night in front of an announced crowd of 5862 fans. Sophomore Nate Hinton was a huge spark in the first half and produced a double-double in 16 minutes 40 seconds in the first half minutes with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

"I thought Nate [Hinton] was our most valuable player of the first half, especially with his energy," Kelvin Sampson, Houston Head Coach commented. "He had a double-double at halftime. He played hard, and he played aggressive."

Hinton set the tone early with the first basket 24 seconds into the game followed by 2 rebounds and a putback layup 1:37 into the game. Four points and 2 boards in 97 seconds.

"I guess I could say my mind was on other things and I had to bring myself back in," Hinton said after the game. "Coach reeled me back in and I kind of took a step back to say ‘Okay, at the end of the day we want to win’. That's the only thing on my mind and that's the only thing we need to do."

Houston raced to a 15-2 lead before HBU senior guard Ian DuBose scored 4 consecutive points.

Hinton scored 8 straight points to boost Houston's lead to 26-10; however, Houston Baptist pulled within 8 points three times and trailed 34-26 with 7 minutes remaining in the opening half.

After a 30-second timeout by Coach Sampson, Houston went on a 16-0 run the next 5 minutes. Hinton scored 7 of the 16 points.

Houston led 56-33 at halftime.

"Our team looked really good defensively in the first half," Sampson said.

DeJon Jarreau returned to the starting lineup and he posted 8 points, 4 boards, 4 assists, and 3 blocked shots in the first half.

"You can tell DeJon [Jarreau] is getting back in the flow of things," Sampson remarked. "The biggest thing for him [Jarreau] is that he played with a lot more confidence."

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HBU pulled within 18 points (67-49) of Houston with 13:52 remaining in the game.

"Coming out of halftime, we let go of the rope a little, defensively speaking," Sampson acknowledged. "You look at the score, and when you win by 40, you've got to hold them accountable for the things that might come back and bite us later in the year."

Houston freshman guard Marcus Sasser sank a three-point shot to increase the lead to 21; then, redshirt-sophomore Quentin Grimes sank a three-point shot for his first basket of the game. Grimes scored 15 points in less than six minutes which helped boost Houston's lead to 90-62 with 6:53 remaining in the game.

Five Coogs scored in double-digits in the game. Sasser scored 18 points on 6 for 9 three-point shooting. Grimes scored 17 points. Fabian White Jr scored 16; and Jarreau scored 14 points.

Jarreau said he had more confidence Tuesday night.

"Just going in the game with more confidence as my hand just keeps getting better," Jarreau commented. "Doing the thing, I know I can do to help the team win. And just playing solid like a mature point guard like I've been here before."

Jarreau missed most of October with a broken bone in his right hand which limited his time to practice and get comfortable on the court.

"Going back in there believing in myself and knowing my team and the coaching staff believes in me," Jarreau said. "It just gives me more confidence as I go into the game. Every week, just getting better and believing in myself. We're going to be alright."

Houston made 11 three-point shots out of 21 attempts Tuesday night. In Houston's previous game at Oregon, Houston shot 2 for 20 from three-point range.

"We're not a great 3-point shooting team; but, we're not that bad though," Sampson stated.

"We had some poor performances," Hinton said. "But, it's all good moving forward."

Hinton finished the game with 24 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

Houston improved to 3-2 this season with the win. HBU's record is 0-5.

Houston's next game is Tuesday, December 4, at home, versus Texas State. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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