NCAAB Game Recap - Houston at Connecticut
Thu Mar 5, 2020 7:00 PM EST

AF
60
SDSU
73
F
ChaSo
48
Radf
62
F
Leh
70
Colg
83
F
Stetsn
62
Lib
66
F
USC-Up
70
Winth
106
F
Buck
64
Amer
59
F
Lipsco
73
NFla
71
F
NM
70
UtSt
75
F
UNCA
62
GWebb
72
F
Navy
63
Boston
69
F
Oakl
63
WIGB
78
F
E IL
65
APSU
76
F
Wyo
74
Nev
71
F
Bois
67
UNLV
61
F
Lafy
73
Army
68
F
TNSt
48
E KY
58
F
YSU
61
IL-C
67
F
Hamp
78
Longw
53
F
Evans
55
Valpa
58
F
Portl
62
SCla
76
F
IlSt
65
Drake
75
F
LoyMa
75
USD
61
F
Cal
56
Oreg
90
F
Ill
63
OhSt
71
F
Hou
71
UConn
77
F
Nebras
58
Mich
82
F
NCAT
80
NCC
86
F
DelSt
100
How
88
F
Copp
63
MD-ES
60
F
Norf
68
Morg
62
F
FlaAM
70
BethC
72
F(OT)
PVAM
71
Alc
80
F
JackSt
71
AlSt
59
F
TXSo
74
South
89
F
WichSt
60
Mem
68
F
Stan
65
OrSt
68
F
UMKC
61
UtVal
51
F
CBU
50
NMSt
83
F
S UT
65
MTSt
73
F
N CO
71
Mont
64
F
Wash
90
AzSt
83
F
IdaSt
77
E WA
100
F
Gram
57
AlaAM
58
F
Web
72
Ida
64
F
HI
67
UCDav
65
F
CS-Ful
53
UCSB
55
F
CAPoly
73
LongB
80
F(OT)
NoAZ
66
PorSt
80
F
WaSt
62
Ariz
83
F
ChiSt
Seatt
Canc

Mar 5, 2020, 7:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

(21) Houston (22-8)

37

34

71

Connecticut (18-12)

30

47

77

Vital leads UConn to 77-71 win over Houston on senior night
Thu Mar 5, 2020 11:17 PM

STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn hasn't played in a postseason tournament in four years.

Coach Dan Hurley believes this season's Huskies are good enough to break that streak.

Christian Vital scored 26 points in his final home game and Connecticut beat No. 21 Houston 77-71 on Thursday night.

Freshman James Bouknight added 17 points and Isaiah Whaley had 13 for the Huskies (18-12, 9-8 American Athletic Conference), who won their fourth straight game, but just their second this season over a ranked opponent.

“We're a good team that's finally learning how to win," Hurley said. “I would think if we continue to play well, we'll get a chance to play somewhere.”

Quentin Grimes scored 24 points and Caleb Mills added 20 for Houston (22-8, 12-5), which fell into a tie for second place in the conference.

UConn took control with a 15-2 run in the second half while Houston's Nate Hinton and DeJon Jarreau dealt with foul trouble.

The Cougars led by seven at the half.

But Hinton picked up his third foul early in the second half and Bouknight converted a four-point play that energized UConn.

A 3-pointer from Vital tied the game at 41 and an off-balance shot by Jalen Gaffney gave UConn its first lead of the half at 47-45.

Jarreau was called for a charge and fouled out with just under six minutes left.

That led to a jumper by Vital at the other end that put UConn up 60-53, part of the decisive run.

“We kind let ourselves get sped up whenever the crowd got into it,” Mills said. “We've got to mature in that aspect of the game.”

Grimes hit a pair of long 3-pointers late that cut the UConn lead to 75-71 with 25 seconds left. But Vital won the game from the foul line.

“I could tell through a lot of possessions that he wasn't going to let us lose," Whaley said. “Especially toward the end, when they started hitting a lot of 3s. He demanded the ball so he could go to the free-throw line, because he wasn't going to let us lose.”

Houston had 71 shots to just 48 for UConn, but the Huskies made 24 of theirs and were 25 of 33 from the foul line. Houston shot 36.6% (26 of 71) and made all 10 of its free throws.

The Cougars scored the game's first five points, but then missed 10 consecutive shots, allowing UConn to go on a 16-0 run over the next seven minutes.

Houston fought back and took the lead at 32-30 on a contested jumper from the left wing by Mills.

Mills and Grimes scored every point in a 10-0 run over the final two minutes of the first half, which was capped by Grimes' 3-pointer from the right baseline at the buzzer.

SNIPER OUT

Vital is averaging 16 points, 17.3 in conference games and 23.2 in the Huskies' last six games, five of them wins. He spoke to the sellout crowd at Gampel Pavilion for several minutes after the game as they chanted “M-V-P” at him. He ended his remarks with “Sniper out,” and dropped the microphone.

“He's a guy that we'll talk about both in the near future with teams and down the line when we get back to being what UConn is supposed to look like and say this was the year that the standard got back to being the standard," Hurley said.

KEY STATS

UConn outscored Houston 26-13 on the fast break and had nine second-chance points while holding the Cougars to just two.

BIG PICTURE

Houston: The Cougars' previous four conference losses came by a total of six points. They had lost two of their previous four conference games, each by a point to SMU and Memphis, while beating conference leaders Tulsa and Cincinnati.

“I do think we have a good program, but this is a long way from being a high-level team,” coach Kelvin Sampson said.

UConn: The Huskies have won their last six home games and finished the season 14-3 at home. They are 2-4 against ranked opponents, with their other win coming against then-No. 15 Florida in November.

UP NEXT

Houston: Hosts Memphis on Sunday in its regular-season finale.

UConn: The Huskies end the regular season in New Orleans on Sunday against Tulane.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Leaders

Houston PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Gorham 0 0 0 1 0 0
B. Gresham 0 0 0 3 0 1
Connecticut PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
S. Wilson 0 0 0 0 0 1
C. Vital 26 0 1 2 2 0

Team Comparison

Hou UConn
Points For 71 77
Field Goals 26/71-37% 24/48-50%
Three Pointers 9/26-35% 4/17-24%
Free Throws 10/10-100% 25/33-76%
Offensive Rebounds 16 4
Defensive Rebounds 25 28
Rebounds 48 38
Blocks 2 3
Steals 6 5
Turnovers 12 10
Personal Fouls 24 16
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - Series Tied 1-1

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Thu Jan 23 UConn 59 @ Hou 63 B. Adams 2 C. Alley Jr. 2
Thu Mar 5 Hou 71 @ UConn 77 C. Harris Jr. 2 B. Adams 2

Game Information

Stadium: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Attendance: 10,167
Game Time: