Tulane lacks punch, falls hard at Houston

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HOUSTON – The Tulane men’s basketball team had its lowest scoring output in two years and dropped an American Athletic Conference road game at Houston, 73-42, on Sunday evening at H&PE Arena.

Melvin Frazier led the Green Wave (13-11, 4-8 AAC) with 11 points, while Cameron Reynolds scored nine points and grabbed double digit rebounds for the third game in a row with 11.

Devin Davis led the Cougars (19-5, 9-3 AAC) with a game-high 16 points, as Armoni Brooks produced a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards, as Houston committed just eight turnovers in the contest.

Despite Thursday’s game at Tulsa, Frazier scored the first seven points of the game for the Green Wave on his first three shot attempts to keep the deficit at just two with 15:44 to go when he connected on his first 3-pointer. Houston scored 10 straight points from that moment down to the 11:45 mark however, as head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., called a timeout.

Tulane went scoreless for more than six minutes until Samir Sehic sunk a deep jumper from the right wing with 9:31 to go, but the Cougars made four of their next five shots to build their first 20-point advantage of the night, 30-10, on a jumper in the paint by Brady with 4:53 left in the period.

Houston’s lead grew to as many as 27 points when Gray made his second trey of the night to make it 39-12, but a Caleb Daniels trey with 1:18 remaining marked the final scoring play of the half, as the Cougars took a 39-15 lead into halftime.

Tulane shot 6-for-23 (.261) from the field, 2-for-8 (.250) beyond the arc and made just one of four free throw attempts in its lowest-scoring first half and largest halftime deficit of the season, while Houston went 17-for-34 (.500) on the floor and 5-for-13 (.385) from outside.

The Green Wave made a pair of field goals early in the second half, but Houston countered with another 10-0 scoring run, capped by a pair of free throws after the media timeout with 15:40 left, to open up a 31-point advantage, 50-19.

Tulane got the margin back below 30, but the Cougars extended beyond that for its largest lead of the night – 35 points – with 3:31 remaining on a 3 by Brooks, before Houston closed out the 31-point win.

The Green Wave shot 14-for-49 (.286) overall, 3-for-16 (.188) from 3-point range and 11-for-17 (.647) at the foul line, while the Cougars shot 26-for-58 (.448) from the field, 8-for-25 (.320) beyond the arc and 13-for-15 (.867) at the free throw stripe.

Houston owned a 40-31 rebounding edge and outscored the Wave, 24-12, in the paint, 13-6 off turnovers and 24-10 off the bench.

Tulane returns home to host East Carolina on Wednesday, February 14. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNews.

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