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11:00 AM PT12:00 PM MT1:00 PM CT2:00 PM ET7:00 PM GMT3:00 PM 北京时间12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST, Feb 17, 2019
Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse, New Orleans, Louisiana  Attendance: 1,957

No. 9 Houston takes old-school mood to Tulane

(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

One has to go back to the days of Phi Slama Jama to find the last time a Houston basketball team was ranked as high as this season's version.

The No. 9 Cougars won their first game as a top-10 team in 35 years Thursday night with a 71-63 decision at Connecticut, maintaining their first place standing in the American Athletic Conference and a nine-game winning streak.

Houston will try to keep things roll going Sunday against the conference's worst team when it travels to Fogleman Arena in New Orleans for a matinee battle with Tulane.

At 4-19 overall and 0-11 in the conference, the Green Wave would appear ill-equipped to be in contention for an upset. But Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson isn't convinced that his team will enjoy a walkover.

"In basketball, there are no trap games," Sampson said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "If you walk out on that court and lose a game, it's because the other team beat you. You played poorly. But there's no trap game."

Aside from a controversial 73-69 loss Jan. 9 at Temple, where Corey Davis' potential game-tying basket in the closing seconds was waved off for an offensive foul, Houston (24-1, 11-1) has answered every challenge and solved every trap.

The Cougars are tied as the nation's sixth-best rebounding team with 41.6 per game but aren't necessarily spectacular in any other facet. However, aside from making just 44.2-percent of their field goals, they don't have any real weaknesses.

Houston has eight players averaging between 5.9 and 15.3 points, led by Davis. Guard Armoni Brooks hits for 13.7 per game, while leading the team in rebounding at 6.4.

Massachusetts transfer Dejon Jarreau has been a hot hand lately, pumping in 18 points to go along with seven assists in the win at Connecticut. Jarreau is scoring 13 points per game over the last four games, improving his overall average to 8.8 a game.

This is part of a busy stretch of travel for the Cougars. After playing in Hartford on Thursday night, they make a shorter trip to New Orleans for Sunday's game. Later in the season come trips to Greenville, N.C., to meet East Carolina and Cincinnati.

"It's not like these kids are on buses," Sampson told the Chronicle. "They get to hop on a plane for a couple of hours. If anyone is tired from the travel, I'm more likely to question that player."

As for Tulane, it's coming off its 13th consecutive defeat, an 80-57 waxing by Tulsa on Thursday night. The Green Wave made only 27.6 percent of their field goal attempts and were outrebounded 46-36.

"We had some really good looks that we just did not make," Tulane coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We can't get beat on 50-50 balls and that really hurt us in the early going."

Caleb Daniels scored 13 points to pace the Green Wave, who haven't won since holding off Texas Southern 77-70 on Dec. 17. Tulane ranks 320th in Division I with just 66.3 points per game and is 315th nationally in field goal percentage, making only 41.2-percent from the field.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 17, 2019

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