Slow-down game fails Hornets in 57-43 Cougar win

James Beltran

Sports Editor

The Houston Cougars could be guilty of having a soft schedule thus far, but the win column doesn't discriminate.

The 5-0 Cougars took care of business Thursday night at Hofheinz Pavilion with a 57-43 victory over the winless Sacramento State Hornets. The win gives UH its best start since the Phi Slama Jama team of 1982-83.

Houston's first half defense was relentless. It held the Hornets to just two three-point baskets through the first 10 minutes while building itself a 12-6 lead.

UH coach Alvin Brooks said the pressure defense played a big part in giving the Cougars the lead. "We have talked about our defense setting the tone for the game and tonight we did that."

UH extended its lead to 28-16 at the end of the half with the help of consecutive three-pointers by Treva Crosby and Willie Moore.

The senior tandem of Galen Robinson and Shamahn McBride took over in the final 20 minutes as the Cougars jumped ahead by as many as 19 points.

McBride continued his successful offensive play, scoring 11 points, while connecting on 3-of-five three point attempts and dishing out four assists.

After the game, McBride explained why the Hornets only scored 43 points. "Our defense played very well and it was the key to the game," he said. "They played a slow down game and that is why we did not score as much."

Robinson started slow, but came around in the second half to lead Houston with 15 points He also had a blocked shot, a steal and two assists.

"I have been frustrated a lot with teams double-teaming me this season," he said. "I have to fight for position to get my shots but they're coming."

Hornet coach Tom Abatemarco said Robinson gave his team problems down low. "Robinson was just too much for us. He manhandled us. He is too good of a player for us to match up with. He is 6-8 and is big and he had his way."

UH travels to McNeese State on Saturday.

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