Houston is such a hard team to figure out. They hung with SMU in Moody Coliseum then lost to USF at home the very same week. Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars have gotten great play from a handful of different players recently, and on Monday it was senior Devonta Pollard leading the way 23 points and seven rebounds in the Cougars’ 71-68 upset of SMU.
Pollard’s performance was timely given that Rob Gray, the team’s leading scorer (17.3 points per game), was sidelined by an ankle injury.
Though the two events are unrelated, Houston’s basketball team surged ahead of SMU after the arena celebrated the football team’s Peach Bowl win — the final stop of an apparent day full of events honoring the team’s 13-1 season, American Athletic Conference Championship and Peach Bowl win against Florida State.
Houston closed an 11-point gap and surged ahead with a 21-4 run in the second half that changed the leverage in the game. SMU had one last chance to tie the game, but the Cougars’ were swarming around Nic Moore and forced him to give the ball up in a spot where it was clearly his shot to take.