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3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET11:00 PM GMT7:00 PM 北京时间4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST, Feb 23, 2019
Fertitta Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 7,039

No. 9 Houston hosts USF, going for 11 in a row

No. 9 Houston is on its second double-digit winning streak of the season as it hosts South Florida on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference game.

The Cougars' current 10-game winning streak came after the disappointment of their only loss -- Jan. 9 at Temple. Houston (25-1, 12-1 AAC) has won so resoundingly that its surprising success is no longer the primary talking point about the team.

Now, observers are considering the Cougars' national championship credentials.

Their ability to defend and rebound with vigor no longer produces a rise among those accustomed to their style. What also resonates is Houston's ability to share the wealth and not be concerned with who gets the credit.

"Of all the teams I have had at Houston, this is by far the most close-knit," said Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson, in his fifth season with the program. "We don't have any egos on this team."

While veteran guards Corey Davis Jr. and Armoni Brooks serve as the Cougars' only double-digit scorers -- 15.7 and 14.1 points per game, respectively -- Houston has thrived because of the consistent production of its complementary players.

Senior guard Galen Robinson Jr. remains a stalwart as a facilitator and supplemental scorer, while underclassmen DeJon Jarreau and Nate Hinton have boosted the Cougars with unexpected scoring at opportune times.

Similarly, the Cougars gang rebound with ferocity.

Brooks leads Houston in rebounding at 6.4 per game while three others -- Breaon Brady, Brison Gresham and Hinton -- average at least four rebounds per contest. Cedrick Alley Jr., Jarreau and Robinson each average at least 3.5 rebounds, underscoring why Houston owns a plus-8.2 rebounding margin and uses that handiwork on the glass to bludgeon conference foes.

Houston is allowing opponents to shoot just 36.4 percent this season.

"You can play good defense all you want, but it means nothing if you don't get the rebound," Sampson said. "That's why rebounding is so important to us."

The Cougars managed only a 35-34 advantage on the boards in their first meeting with USF, squeezing out a 69-60 victory in Orlando on Jan. 19. Houston shot just 40.4 percent in the win, missing 10 of 13 3-pointers. It marked a rare occasion when Houston did just enough to win.

USF (18-8, 7-6) stepped out of conference on Tuesday and cruised past NAIA team Florida College 95-54 in a game that replaced a Dec. 9 matchup at Charlotte that was canceled due to Winter Storm Diego.

Sophomore David Collins and redshirt junior Laquincy Rideau did not play against Florida College to let other players have a chance.

"We got everything out of (the game) that we were hoping to," Bulls coach Brian Gregory said. "Guys got to play who maybe hadn't logged as many minutes. I give our guys credit. They responded extremely well."

Collins leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game, while Rideau is second at 13.8. Collins scored 23 in the previous meeting against Houston.

The Cougars will be seeking their 33rd consecutive home win on Saturday.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 22, 2019

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