Around the American: All top four teams win, bottom five keep losing

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Tulsa guard DaQuan Jeffries (2) drives past Temple forward Justyn Hamilton (21) during an NCAA college basketball game at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)

Houston:

In their two games, No. 9 Houston continued its fantastic season as it beat UConn and Tulane this past week. Houston (25-1, 12-1) took down UConn (13-12, 4-8) by the score of 71-63 Thursday. DeJon Jerreau showed out for Houston, dropping 18 points and dishing seven assists in just 22 minutes off the bench. Houston then beat down Tulane (4-20, 0-12) by 35 points Sunday. Led by Corey Davis Jr. and Armoni Brooks, Houston earned its 10th straight win. Davis put up 26 points with eight made threes, two assists and three boards in 30 minutes. Brooks added 24 points with six rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes. The Cougars allowed a combined 13 points from Tulane’s bench players compared to 23 from its bench.

Cincinnati:

After taking its second conference loss to Houston the week prior, Cincinnati bounced back with a solid victory over Wichita State Sunday. Led by Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati (21-4, 10-2) beat Wichita State (12-12, 5-7) by the score of 72-62. Cumberland put up a game-high 27 points on 8-20 shooting with six boards, five assists and a steal in 37 minutes. The Bearcats kept second place in The American with this victory.

UCF:

Third place UCF picked up two victories against USF and Memphis this week. During Wednesday’s action, UCF (18-5, 9-3) took down Florida rival USF (17-8, 7-6) 78-65. Thanks to a first half lead of 39-25, UCF was able to survive USF’s 40-point outburst in the second half. The Golden Knights’ Tacko Fall put up a game 21 points with nine rebounds and five blocks to lead the charge. The 7-foot-6 Fall hit just 9-21 free throws, however, continuing his poor stretch of charity stripe shooting. He is hitting just 34.6 percent of free throws this season. Against Memphis (15-11, 7-6) UCF were able to survive Jeremiah Martin’s 25-point performance with one of its own from B.J. Taylor. Taylor also grabbed five boards and five assists in the 79-72 win over the Tigers.

Temple:

Temple prevailed in an overtime thriller against fifth place USF Sunday after beating SMU earlier in the week. Temple (18-7, 9-4) saw stellar performances from senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. who dropped 24 points with seven rebounds, six assists and a couple steals in the 70-69 OT win Sunday over USF. This came right after putting up 28 points in the 82-74 victory over SMU (12-12, 4-8) Wednesday.

Tulsa:

Tulsa beat the two teams in the bottom of the conference, ECU and Tulane, to put itself in seventh in The American. Tulsa (16-10, 6-7) blew out Tulane by the score of 80-57. The Golden Hurricane rode the hot-hand of Jeriah Horne who had 20 points, 12 boards and four steals to earn his first career double-double in 31 minutes off of the bench. They took this momentum into the weekend with and beat ECU (9-16, 2-11) 77-73 Sunday in OT. Tulsa spread around the scoring with six players throwing up double-digit points against ECU. Martins Igbanu lead the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. Tulsa limited ECU to just two bench points all game, in comparison to its 33 from non-starters.


Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.quinn-mavredakis@uconn.edu .

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