Houston hangs on to beat Murray State 77-74

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) – Devonta Pollard scored 19 points and Jherrod Stiggers added 17 as Houston held on to beat Murray State 77-74 in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.

Houston led for the first time after Pollard made a layup with 6:18 left to play to make it 67-66. The Cougars continued to lead, but committed two turnovers in the final minute, allowing a Cameron Payne layup that cut the difference to two. Payne and T.J. Sapp combined to miss three three-point attempts in the final 40 seconds to close out the game.

Pollard was 6 of 15 from the floor and 7 of 7 from the free throw line, and Cavon Baker added 14 points for the Cougars.

Houston outrebounded the Racers 42-38, but committed 17 turnovers and 22 personal fouls.

Payne finished with 21 points for the Racers, and Jeffery Moss added 15.