SEC Men:

Cougars pounce, then trounce Hogs

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Houston's Corey Davis Jr. (5) looks to take a shot as Arkansas' Trey Thompson (1) defends during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 in Houston. (Wilf Thorne/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Photo by Associated Press
Houston's Corey Davis Jr. (5) looks to take a shot as Arkansas' Trey Thompson (1) defends during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 in Houston. (Wilf Thorne/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON --Houston forward Devin Davis made up for lost time against the Arkansas Razorbacks in a big way.

Davis, a 6-6 senior who played just three minutes against the Razorbacks last season after sustaining a right hand injury, had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead Houston to 91-65 victory in the rematch on Saturday night at Texas Southern's H&PE Arena before an announced crowd of 4,186.

Davis, who was scoreless and missed his only field goal attempt in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's 84-72 victory over Houston last season, hit 10 of 14 shots and 7 of 8 free throws the second time around.

"It was like he put two games tonight," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "He's a good player and they did a good job of getting him the ball.

"He was a big difference-maker for them. It just seemed like everything he threw up, it went in."

Davis came into the game averaging 10.3 points. He surpassed that in the first half with 13 points.

"Personally, it was a payback game, because I missed a lot of games from that injury," Davis said of scorching the Razorbacks. "It was a blessing tonight because our team played crazy good."

Davis was so in tune that he hit his first three-point basket of the season and only the second of his career in 55 games.

"We had no answer for him," Arkansas senior guard Anton Beard said. "He hit a lot of shots. Open shots and contested shots as well."

Houston junior guard Corey Davis -- who isn't related to Devin Davis -- scored 17 points. Senior guard Rob Gray and sophomore guard Armoni Brooks added 11 points each for the Cougars (6-1).

Beard and senior guard Jaylen Barford led Arkansas (5-2) with 13 points each. Senior guard Daryl Macon scored 11 points and sophomore guard C.J. Jones scored 10.

The 26-point loss was the most lopsided for Arkansas since No. 6 Kentucky beat the Razorbacks 97-71 at Rupp Arena last season.

Houston jumped out to an 11-0 lead and led by at least eight points the rest of the game.

Arkansas finally scored with 13:19 left in the half when Dustin Thomas hit two free throws to make it 11-2.

The Razorbacks trailed by as many as 30 points, 89-59, with 3:04 left.

"It was just their night," Anderson said. "I thought we got off to a slow start, and that gave them the confidence moving forward."

Arkansas had four turnovers on its first seven possessions.

"That's kind of what we've been doing people," Anderson said. "That's unusual for us.

"It was our first game on the road, but there an no excuses for that because of the guys that were making the turnovers."

Barford and senior forward Trey Thompson each had two turnovers in the first half.

"They got real physical with us," Beard said. "They took us out of our game early.

"We came out on our heels. They came out ready to play."

Houston hit 10 of 21 three-pointers, including Corey Davis going 5 of 11, and shot 51.8 percent (29 of 56) from the field.

"Over in our little corner of the world we run, too," Cougars Coach Kelvin Sampson of scoring more than 90 points against the Razorbacks.

Arkansas shot 35 percent (19 of 55) from the field.

Barford and Macon, who came into the game averring 20.8 and 16.3 points, respectively, had 2 and 3 points in the first half and were a combined 2 of 9 from the field when Houston took control of the game and were

"We didn't shoot well at all, and that's the name of the game," Anderson said. "You can play defense until you're blue in the face, but you've got to be able to put the ball in the hole."

Houston outscored Arkansas 29-18 on points in the paint, hit 23 of 28 free throws and outrebounded the Razorbacks 38-29.

"We didn't look like ourselves tonight," Barford said. "We had a lot of defensive breakdowns and we didn't rebound as well as should have."

Barford said the Cougars deserved credit for being the more aggressive team Saturday night, especially Devin Davis. His previous scoring high was 19 points against Morgan State last season.

"He had a great performance," Barford said. "I guess he was mad about what happened last year."

Sports on 12/03/2017

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