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The Houston Cougars host the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks Wednesday in college basketball action. The Cougars come in with a record of 5-2 on the year while the Mavericks are 4-6. These two programs haven't played each other in recent years. The Cougars are favored by 12 points. Tipoff is Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas.
UTA falls short against UC-Santa BarbaraUT-Arlington was without two starters, but they still almost pulled out a win, losing 72-68 to UC-Santa Barbara. The loss dropped Arlington to 4-6 on the year. Arlington was down by 10 midway through the 2nd half, but rallied to tie the game at 59-59 tie with four minutes left. But they could never grab the lead and lost by four. Freshman Sam Griffin led UTA with 16 points, while sophomoreDavid Azore had 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also had seven assists. Also, sophomore Jordan Phillips added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Radshad Davis tossed in 12 points.
The Mavericks were playing without starters TiAndre Jackson-YoungandColeman Sparling who were both injured. UTA shot 41.4 percent from the floor and 30.4 percent from three -- making 7 of 23 from 3-point range. But they were hurt from the free throw line, making on 13 of 20 while Santa Barbara made 19 of 24. Also, UTA committed 13 turnovers to just 11 for Santa Barbara.
"It was a close, tight game, but we just didn't get it done in the end. We won the rebounding battle (39-34), but at the end of the day, rebounds actually hurt us – they got a couple of key ones at the end that really broke our back. Our effort was much better than the North Texas game, but we just didn't get it done," UTA coach Chris Ogden said, reported UTA basketball. "We're continuing to learn and we want to be playing our best basketball in February and March. That's what this is about really; it's about getting better.
Grimes leads HoustonThe Houston Cougars are getting hot. They have won three straight games to improve to 5-2. On Sunday they won easily at South Carolina 76-56.Quentin Grimes scored 24 points to lead Houston in the easy win. Grimes shot 9 of 17 from the floor and 4 of 7 from three. Grimes boosted his average to 16.8 points per game. Nate Hinton added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars. Hinton drained 3 threes.
“Not everything's come easily for Quentin Grimes at Houston.— Mike (@UHFan79) December 9, 2019
“In fact, Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson had to remind his young, rising star what color his teammates were wearing. “He kept throwing to the other team,” Sampson said of Grimes' seven turnovers.”
“It’s a big one for us coming in for a road win against the SEC,” Grimes said, reported the AP. "We just stayed in attack mode. We didn’t want to let our foot come up off the gas.” Houston shot 50 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent from three. They also won the rebound battle 41-29 but had 17 turnovers. Brison Gresham added 8 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take UT-Arlington here getting the points. Houston has won three straight, but they are not a great team. These are not the Cougars of last year. They lost to BYU and got smoked by Oregon for their two losses. They are a tad overrated by KenPom, who has them at No. 25. That will sink. Menwhile, UT-Arlington doesn't have a great record, but they have played much tougher competition. They have already outright beaten an AAC team, Tulsa, and they only lost to Top 10 team Gonzaga by six points. They also played Oregon and fared no worse than Houston did. Houston may win this game, but they won't win by more than 12, so take the Mavericks.
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under here. These two teams tend to play similar styles. They player a slower game and both played solid defense, UT-Arlington ranks No. 258 in pace of play while Houston ranks No. 176 in that stat category. In their last two games, Houston has held their opponents under 60 points per game. UT-Arlington has only allowed more than 72 points twice this season. But against some good teams, like Gonzaga, they only gave up 73 points. Their best bet is to slow it down, which is why i think this game will ultimately be played in the under -- and it will be close.