No. 11 Houston uses big first half to cruise past UCF 75-58

HOUSTON (AP) — Quentin Grimes scored 18 points, Justin Gorham added 15 points and nine rebounds and No. 11 Houston used a dominant first half to cruise to a 75-58 win over UCF on Sunday.

Grimes scored in double figures for his 11th straight game after opening the season with eight points against Lamar. Houston (11-1, 6-1 American Athletic Conference) won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa.

The Cougars shot 42%, including 8 of 25 on 3-pointers. Houston forced UCF into 20 turnovers, which the Cougars turned into 22 points.

Jamille Reynolds scored 14 points, and Dre Fuller Jr. and Darin Green Jr. each had 12 points for UCF (3-5, 1-4). The Knights, who lost their fourth straight, shot 44%, including 4 of 19 on 3-pointers. UCF went over 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half.

Houston jumped out to a 38-9 lead capped by a three-point play from Brison Gresham with 3:43 left in the half.

The Cougars started the game with four straight 3-pointers — two by DeJon Jarreau and one apiece from Grimes and Marcus Sasser — and hit eight of their first 10 field goals. Grimes and Sasser each had eight points in the game-opening run.

Houston led 45-19 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

UCF: The Knights were without guard Darius Perry for a second straight game. UCF lost its third consecutive game against Houston and seventh in the last eight meetings. Brandon Mahan had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Houston: The Cougars played their first game in eight days. Their game at South Florida on Jan. 14 was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the USF program. Houston won its 18th straight game at home.

MOVING UP

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson earned his 650th career win, moving him into sole possession of 41st place on the NCAA wins list. Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders.

UP NEXT

UCF: Hosts SMU on Saturday.

Houston: Hosts Tulsa on Wednesday.

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