Brandon Gibson scored five of his 12 points in the final 1:33 as Louisiana Tech held off Houston 60-54 on Wednesday night.
Tied at 19 with 3:16 to go until the break, the Bulldogs (2-1) closed out the half on a 9-0 run.
Louisiana Tech extended its lead to 13 with 16:07 remaining, but the Cougars made a late run on the strength of 56 percent shooting in the second half (14 of 25).
Houston closed to within three points on three occasions, the last at 52-49 with 2:39 to go on a jumper by Maurice McNeil.
Gibson then hit a 15-footer to spark the Bulldogs to a nine-point cushion before Darian Thibodeaux's 3-pointer with 3 seconds to go.
Olu Ashaolu had 10 points and eight rebounds for Louisiana Tech and DeAndre Brown also had 10 points.
McNeil and Thibodeaux led Houston (2-1) with 11 points apiece. The Cougars had 21 turnovers but only one steal.