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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.

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Houston defeats South Florida, 98-52, and improves to 20-3 this season

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Byron L. Riley, CPA; 832-303-3995; Do you need tax help? IRS Tax help available- Free Consult

POSTED: February 28, 2021 -- 11:22 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Fertitta Center) -- The Houston Cougars dominated the undermanned South Florida Bulls 98-52 Sunday afternoon to improve to 20-3 overall and 13-3 in the American Athletic Conference. This marks the sixth straight season under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson that the Cougars recorded 20 plus wins, a first in program history.

USF was without big men Michael Durr and Alexis Yetna. Both missed the game because of injuries. Houston showed no mercy.

Houston forward Justin Gorham started the scoring with a dunk. Then, guard DeJon Jarreau got a steal and dunk for a 4-0 Houston lead. Houston never looked back. The Bulls got within 1 (7-6) before Houston hit 4 consecutive three-point shots for a 19-6 lead. Quentin Grimes sandwiched the four threes. Grimes hit the first three; Jarreau nailed the second three; Gorham hit the third; and Grimes swished the fourth.

Houston led USF 28-16 before erupting with a 26-0 run to lead 54-16 with 4:01 remaining in the open half. Grimes was stellar during the run. Grimes scored 16 consecutive points including 11 in a row after USF trailed 28-16. Grimes hit three straight triples and added a turnaround jumper. Grimes third three-point basket of the run was from the interlocking painted U and H across the halfcourt line. Grimes pulled up from about 30 feet and drained the shot.

After the game, Jarreau said, "I really ain't know what to say. I just saw him hit his little steps and pulled it; and, I just tried to go offensive rebound. I just saw it go through the net. I grabbed it; and, I just gave it to the ref because there was nothing else I could do. I'm just like 'That's crazy.'

"I looked at the bench; and, they were going crazy. And, I don't know. When he get hot like that, it's really amazing to watch. It's like I don't even want the ball. I just want him to keep shooting and keep shooting because that's really a show. I enjoyed watching it. The whole team enjoyed watching it."

The Coogs made 21 of their first 28 field goal attempts. Despite missing 7 of their last 8 shots, Houston finished the half shooting 61.1% (22 for 36) from the floor.

Grimes finished the first half with 22 points in just 13 minutes. He was 6 for 10 on three-point shots and 8 for 13 overall from the floor.

Houston led USF 56-21 at halftime. Grimes outscored USF 22-21 in the opening half. The Bulls shot 28.6 fg% (8 for 28) in the first half.

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USF shot 45.8 fg% (11 for 24 field goals) in the second half; but, Houston shot 58.6 fg% (17 for 29) in the half and outscored the Bulls 42-31 in the second 20 minutes.

DeJon Jarreau filled the stat sheet with 16 points (6 for 8 field goals including 4 for 5 three-pointers), 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, and zero turnovers.

"DeJon is our offensive coordinator," Coach Kelvin Sampson said after the game. "He has a good feel for what to run and who to run it for."

Houston finished the game 27 assists and just 5 turnovers.

"I like the progression that this team's made," Coach Sampson commented. "And, I really, really, really enjoy coaching them because we have such high character kids."

Coach Sampson added, "The stat that I'm most proud of today - and this shows you the growth of our team this year - was 27 assists and five turnovers,'' Sampson said. ''To have 27 assists and five turnovers, the unselfishness and moving the ball and finding the open man and that guy shooting with confidence."

Byron L. Riley, CPA; 832-303-3995; Do you need tax help? IRS Tax help available- Free Consult

Houston shot 60.0 fg% (39 for 65) for the game including 45.5 3pt% (15 for 33). Houston only attempted 6 free throws in the game (made 5).


Houston's next game is scheduled for Sunday, March 7, inside Fertitta Center, against the Memphis Tigers. Tip time is 11 a.m. CBS will broadcast the game.

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