UH Coogs defeat Warhawks in season opener 84-31


Written by MAi' Ghen Storm | Photo credit: Xavier Rosales, SFL Staff Photographer

HOUSTON – University of Houston sophomore guard Emanuel Sharp scored a career-high 20 points, senior guard Damian Dunn added 18, and the seventh-ranked Cougars routed ULM 84-31 in the season opener for both teams on Monday night.

Sharp and Dunn led a balanced scoring attack for Houston, which shot 43% from the field and 11-for-35 on 3-pointers. The Cougars also held ULM to just 28% shooting and forced 25 turnovers, which they turned into 30 points.

"Our defense is our star," Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. "How we rebounded, how we defended. We've been doing this a long, long time. Before any of these guys were on this team. That's our system. Everybody has a system; everybody has a way they want to win games, but I'm not going to get carried away with how kids play in November."

The Cougars' defense was particularly impressive in the first half, when they held ULM to just 14 points. Houston led by as many as 24 points in the first half and took a 38-14 lead into the break.

The Warhawks showed some signs of life in the second half, but the Cougars never let them get any closer than 13 points. Houston eventually pushed its lead to as many as 53 points before closing out the victory.

"I thought before the game coming in Houston was elite defensively," ULM coach Keith Richard said. "Now, I think Houston is double elite defensively and probably, got to be the best defensive team in the country."

Savion Gallion scored eight points and Tyreke Locure had seven for the Warhawks. ULM shot just 28% from the field and 19% from 3-point range.

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