The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

Contact Kris Gardner for details pertaining to advertising on the website; the blogs; and / or the podcasts.

Get the Disney Bundle. Movies, Shows, & Sports

Coogs ride hot shooting early to cruise to 75-58 win over UCF

Houston Cougars logo

Buy Houston Cougars Gear at

The Saxenian Family is a supporter of The Houston Roundball Review.

POSTED: January 17, 2021 -- 8:05 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Fertitta Center) -- The Houston Cougars scored the first 12 points of the game Sunday afternoon and never looked back in a 75-58 victory over the UCF Knights. The Coogs have held their opponent to 60 or less points nine times this season and 65 points or less in ten of their 11 games.

Houston (11-1 overall, 6-1 in The American) senior guard DeJon Jarreau began the onslaught with a three-point basket. Then, teammates Marcus Sasser and Quentin Grimes each knocked down three-point baskets. Then, Jarreau nailed his second three-point shot for a 12-0 Houston lead with 16:45 on the game clock.

UCF scored 2 points to finally get on the scoreboard; however, Grimes drained another three-pointer for a 15-2 Houston lead. Houston's torrid field goal shooting resulted in a 12 for 18 start and a 32-6 lead with 8:20 remaining in the first half.

Houston's biggest lead of the first half was 38-9 with 3:43 remaining in the opening half.

The Coogs led the Knights 45-19 at halftime. Houston has held eight opponents to 25 points or less in the first half this season.

UCF had more turnovers (12) than made baskets (6) in the first half. Houston's defense forced the Knights into a turnover percentage of 38.7% in the first half. Houston also limited the Knights to 0.613 points per possession in the first half.

Conversely, Houston scored 1.324 points per possession with 3 dunks and 13 layups and a turnover percentage of just 11.8 percent.

Though Houston's performance in the first half wasn't perfect, Kelvin Sampson, Houston Head Coach said, "It's hard to play better. You're not going to play better than that."

SUPPORT The Houston Roundball Review:

Purchase your Coogs' gear at via this link;

Get ESPN+ via this link;

Save when you get the Disney bundle (ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu) with this link;

OR, contribute via PayPal or the Cash App.

Houston's hot shooting cooled in the second half which helped UCF get slice a few points off Houston's huge lead.

"We had great looks the entire second half," Coach Sampson commented.

Justin Gorham scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season.

Gorham acknowledged he and his teammates relaxed a bit in the second half because of the big lead.

"You get relaxed," Gorham said. "I'm not going to say it's hard; but, it's a little challenging because we're human. I mean you're up 40. Some people will relax.

"We just want to keep it consistent and play hard both halves," Gorham added.

DeJon Jarreau agreed it's difficult to maintain focus with a big lead.

"Definitely," Jarreau remarked. "Your intensity go down. We're human. It's not the same energy you would put into it if the game is close. That's something that we gotta work on -- when we get big leads, keeping it; keeping the same intensity and energy that helped us get the lead."

For the third time this season, all 11 Cougars that played, scored.

Coach Sampson said, "I thought our kids came out ready to play. We were excited. Had great practices this week.

"I thought our kids really prepared well; played well."


With today's win over UCF, Houston improves to 37-3 all-time inside the Fertitta Center, having won 18 consecutive games at its home venue. The Cougars have not lost in the Fertitta Center since a 72-71 buzzer-beating loss to BYU on November 15, 2019.


Houston's next game is Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m., vs Tulsa. ESPN+ will stream the game.

CLICK HERE for The HRR's write-ups of Coogs' men's hoops games.

The HRR's YouTube Channel

Click to Support The HRR

Official Merchandise

Houston Roundball Review Merch

Shop at

HBCUs gear

Houston Cougars gear

Rice Owls gear

Texas A&M Aggies gear

Texas Longhorns gear

Texas Southern Tigers gear

Shop at

Houston Rockets gear

Shop at