The 10th-ranked Houston Cougars welcome the South Florida Bulls to the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas, for a Sunday afternoon American Athletic Conference matchup at 4 pm EST. Currently, the Cougars are favored by 19-points for this contest.
The Bulls enter this contest losers of 4 of 5 with their last defeat coming at the hands of the Temple Owls at home last Wednesday as they allowed the Bulls to destroy them in the 2nd-half (after going down by only 4 at the break) en route to their 9th loss of the season. For the game, the Owls were able to convert on 48% of their shots from long-range as opposed to the Bulls shooting 29% as a team while going 7 of 20 from deep. South Florida also failed to cover the spread as 5.5-point favorites are and just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, overall.
The Cougars enter this contest winners of 2-straight games as they took out the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky Thursday night thanks to a huge 2nd-half by Houston in which they outscored the Hilltoppers by a margin of 42-19 after going up 1-at the half. Houston's offense woke up a big shooting 46% as a team while nailing 13 treys, 8 by leading scorer Quinten Grimes who led with 33 points. Houston was also able to cover as 11.5-point favorites and have been red-hot against the spread as of late going 7-2 in their last 9 outings.
The Cougars have done well for themselves versus the Bulls going 9-1 SU in their last 10 meetings, including 3 of 4 at the Fertitta Center. Houston is also 7-3 ATS during this time while going 3-1 against the number in their last 4 at home versus their conference foe.
Bulls continue to be shaky offensivelyAnd while South Florida is averaging just 67 points per game on an awful 41% shooting (33% from long-range) on the year, they were coming off an 83-point output versus the Temple Owls on the road February 21st. In their preceding matchup at home versus the Owls, they could only must 47 points on just 29% shooting while making just 7 of their 20 attempts from deep as leading scorer David Collins (13 ppg), who posted 14 on the road, ended with 13 points on 4-12 FG while missing 3 of 4 from long-distance.
Collins also committed 5 of the team's 15 turnovers. Justin Brown (9 ppg) was responsible for 3 turnovers while being the only other double-digit performer for the Bulls with 16 points while going 4-8 from long-range. However, Brown has had struggles with consistency throughout the year shooting only 42% from the field. In fact, the guard went 0-4 FG for 2 points versus Houston earlier in the month while Collins led with 18 points on 6-9 shooting.
Michael Durr (8 ppg, 7 rebs) finished with 14 points and 7 boards on an efficient night in this contest; Nonetheless, the Bulls shot just 43% as a team in the double-digit loss while the defense, which has also struggled with consistency, allowed 53% shooting to the Cougars. Worth noting that South Florida has only posted an average of 57 points in their last 4 at the Fertitta Center.
Houston's offense starting to shine behind GrimesGrimes (18 ppg, 6 rebs) may only be shooting less than 40% from the floor on the year, he continues to be a threat from long-range connecting on 39% of his shots. His ability to shoot the trey was never more evident than in his outing versus Western Kentucky as he made 8 of 16 in this area while going 11-21 from the field to post 33 points and 6 boards. In all, the guard is averaging over 26 points per in his last 4 outings after experiencing a rough patch of games late-January and early-February.
His performances as of late has really had an effect on his team as the Cougars, despite shooting 43% as a team on the season, has posted 80 or more in 6 of the team's last 10, overall. But as coach Kelvin Sampson state, Grimes was able to weather the bad times by better embracing the moment. “Where some kids might pout or cop a momentary lapse in their attitude, Quentin embraced it, he told PaperCityMag.com. He’s used the way we do things here to help him. And I think that’s why he’s playing so good.”
Grimes posted 29 points in their blowout win over the Bulls 17-days ago while connecting on 6 of the team's 6 treys while Dejon Jarreau (10 ppg, 5 rebs), who has also come up big on both ends for the Cougars this year, finished with 17 points and 8 dimes. Marcus Sasser (14 ppg) struggled in the contest, however, ending 3-9 FG along with missing all 6 of his attempts from deep for 7 points. The guard has been in a bit of a rut lately averaging just 8 points per game in his last 4 games.
Stats & Trends
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Bulls are 3-7 ATS in last 10 games.
- Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Cougars are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Cougars are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
The Cougars are 6-1 against the number in their last 7 versus the Bulls when favored by double-digits. Furthermore, Houston has been able win ATS in their last 4 at home where they were favored by 9.5-points or more. On the other hand, South Florida has dropped 5 of 7 ATS, overall, while also failing to cover in 3 of 4 at the Fertitta Center. In all, expect the Cougars to assert themselves on both ends of the floor in this contest as they will cruise.