Dotson’s 25 points lift as Houston rallies past UConn, 75-70
HOUSTON (AP) Damyean Dotson had 25 points and nine rebounds and Houston used a big run to start the second half to rally for a 75-70 win over UConn Wednesday night.
Rob Gray added 16 points for Houston (19-8, 10-5 American), which shot 34 percent. Devin Davis had 11 points, and Kyle Meyer had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars, which hit 9 for 10 from the free throw line in the final minute.
”There were no raised voices, no panic,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. ”I felt like if we were the better team, we would win. We came out and made a couple adjustments to our zone, and our kids started competing.”
Jalen Adams had 18 points, Vance Jackson added 16 points and Rodney Purvis had 11 points for UConn (14-13, 9-6), which saw its four-game winning streak snapped. The Huskies shot 39 percent but hit 9 of 29 in the second half.
Trailing by five, UConn coach Kevin Ollie earned a technical with 50 seconds left. Dotson hit the two free throws to push the lead to seven.
”It was my fault with the technical foul, but at the end of the day, they weren’t giving us any calls,” Ollie said.
The Huskies could get no closer than five the rest of the way.
”I think it wasn’t so much our offense, I think it was defensively, we allowed them to get second chance points, and that deflated our energy,” Adams said.
Houston opened the second half on a 25-6 run and took its first lead at 44-43 on a Gray layup with 14 minutes left. The Cougars opened it up to 54-45 on two Bertrand Nkali free throws with 9:52 remaining. Gray and Dotson each had seven in the run.
”I thought our effort, toughness, our culture took over in the second half,” Sampson said.
UConn, which led 39-29 at the half, started the second half 2 for 16, including 0 for 6 on 3’s, with five turnovers.
UConn: The Huskies shot 47 percent in the first half and hit 9 of 11 from the line, but settled for outside shots when Houston went on its run to start the second half. UConn was outrebounded 25-17 in the second half after controlling the boards 23-17 in the first.
Houston: The Cougars swept the season series from UConn and broke a tie for third place in the American with the Huskies. Houston, which still is looking for a marquee win this season, committed five turnovers and shot 25 of 29 from the free throw line.
UConn: Kentan Facey had nine points and 11 rebounds. … The Huskies finished 18 of 24 from the free throw line. … UConn committed 10 turnovers, which Houston converted into 11 points.
Houston: Galen Robinson, Jr., had four points and seven assists. … Houston had 17 offensive rebounds, including 11 in the second half. The Cougars had 17 second-chance points.
HE SAID IT
”We didn’t hit them in the second half. They got 11 offensive rebounds, and when we play a good team like this, they’re going to try to take it to us.” – Ollie on the difference in the second half.
UConn: The Huskies host No. 17 SMU on Saturday before traveling to East Carolina Mar. 1 and finishing the regular season home against No. 15 Cincinnati Mar. 5.
Houston: The Cougars travel to Memphis Sunday and No. 15 Cincinnati on Mar. 2 before finishing the regular season at home Mar. 5 against East Carolina.