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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Cougars now 15-0 after routing Penny’s Tigers

Houston 90, Memphis 77

Kareem Brewton Jr. of Memphis pulls up for a shot against Armoni Brooks of Houston during first-half action Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway directs his team against Houston during the first half Sunday in Houston. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Antwann Jones of Memphis drives to the basket as Isaiah Maurice follows up in the first half Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Breaon Brady of Houston draws defensive pressure from Memphis players including Jeremiah Martin (3) and Raynere Thornton (4) during the first half Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Galen Robinson of Houston reacts after a made basket during the second half against Memphis on Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Corey Davis of Houston helps up Galen Robinson Jr., who stretches out his arm after taking a hard fall against Memphis during the second half Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Brison Gresham of Houston pivots around Isaiah Maurice of Memphis during the first half Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

DeJon Jarreau of Houston throws down a two-hand jam during the first half against Memphis on Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Galen Robinson Jr. of Houston defenses Jeremiah Martin of Memphis during first-half action Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Houston head coach Kevin Sampson calls on a player off the bench as assistant coach Alvin Brooks, a Lamar graduate, looks on during Sunday’s game against Memphis. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson reacts to a call as Memphis coach Penny Hardaway looks on Sunday in Houston. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Fabian White of Houston goes up for a layup against Memphis on Sunday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

HOUSTON (AP) — When Houston needed a spark Sunday night, Armoni Brooks came through for the Cougars.

Brooks scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and hit four of his six three-pointers and No. 19 Houston remained undefeated with a 90-77 victory over Memphis.

Nate Hinton added 19 points and nine rebounds, Corey Davis Jr. and Galen Robinson Jr. each had 11 points and DeJon Jarreau scored 10 points. The Cougars (15-0, 2-0 American) extended their home-winning streak to a nation-best 28 games.

“We can score the ball,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We can score different ways. We have guys that can shoot; we have guys that can drive it.”

Houston shot 45 percent, including 50 percent in the second half, and hit 12 of 34 3-pointers.

“We haven’t shot the ball well all year,” Sampson said. “We haven’t had a game yet where those two (Brooks and Davis) shot the ball well. … Those two guys are kind of tag teaming each other. We haven’t had a game where we just shot the ball well, but other guys are getting better.”

Kareem Brewton Jr. had a career-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Jeremiah Martin added 16 points and eight rebounds and Kyvon Davenport scored 17 points for Memphis (9-6, 1-1).

“They were more physical,” Brewton said. “We have to pick it up. This has happened in three, four games in like our biggest games.”

The Tigers shot 48 percent but committed 17 turnovers. They saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said Houston’s energy and toughness overtook the Tigers.

“We always talk about punching first and hitting first coming out of the gate,” Hardaway said. “Again today, I don’t know why, but we weren’t ready at the start of the game and got them in a good rhythm.”

After Memphis cut it to 57-51 on Martin’s layup with 14 minutes remaining, Houston responded with a 17-4 run to build a 19-point lead on Jarreau’s layup with 9:40 remaining. Brooks had nine points in the run. The Tigers got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

“A lot of the shots were coming in transition,” Brooks said. “In the huddle, we were talking about getting stops. We started with getting one stop then two stops then three stops. Once we get a stop, that leads to our transition offense, and that’s where we really feel we are the best.”

After Brewton’s jumper cut Houston’s lead to 24-20 with 8 minutes left in the first half, the Cougars responded with an 8-0 run to take a 32-20 lead with 6:55 remaining before halftime. Houston led 45-34 at the half.


• Memphis: The Tigers continue to be competitive, with four of their six losses coming to ranked teams. Memphis was outhustled throughout, with Houston holding advantages in rebounds, steals and turnovers. Outside of Brewton, Martin and Davenport, Memphis got 19 points on 5-of-18 shooting.

“We are 0-5 in big games this year, and we lost all of them because of the same reason,” Hardaway said of Memphis’ physicality. “To me, it’s time for everyone to wake up and understand that if we are going to make the NCAA Tournament, we are going to have to beat teams like Houston. We are going to have to be more physical; we are going to have to hit first; and we have to put everything else that we are going through aside.”

• Houston: The Cougars had 28 points off 17 Memphis turnovers, outrebounded the Tigers 39-32, including 18-7 on the offensive glass. … The Cougars played well throughout even with Davis, their leading scorer, on the bench for the final 16 minutes of the first half with two fouls. . Houston had 20 assists on 33 made field goals.


With the 2-0 week, Houston should move up in the rankings.


• Memphis: Hosts East Carolina on Thursday night.

• Houston: At Temple on Wednesday night.