No. 3 Houston Cougars outlast Oregon Ducks in first true road test of season

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andy Nelson/AP/Shutterstock (13631949d) Houston guard Terrance Arceneaux (23) celebrates his 3-point shot against Oregon with forward J’Wan Roberts (13) and Houston guard Jamal Shead (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Eugene, Ore Houston Oregon Basketball, Eugene, United States – 20 Nov 2022

No. 3 Houston Cougars outlast Oregon Ducks in first true road test of season

EUGENE, ORE. — The third-ranked Houston Cougars men’s basketball team came out victorious in Sunday night’s battle in the Pacific Northwest against Oregon. The Cougars beat the Ducks 66-56.

Houston (5-0) and Oregon battled on the always provocative Kilkenny Floor inside the Matthew Knight arena. It was the Ducks that started aggressively, particularly beating the Cougars at their own game in the rebounding battle, but ultimately it was Houston’s depth and stellar guard play that carried UH to the finish line and allowed the Coogs to prevail.

It was freshman guard Terrance Arceneaux that sparked the Cougars on a run in the first half that created separation between the teams after a neck-and-neck start that saw the game tied at 15. The Beaumont native had a personal 8-0 run shortly after checking into the game that left Oregon playing catch up the rest of the way.

Arceneaux knocked down his first couple of 3-pointers, was active in the passing lanes on defense, and drew multiple fouls to help build a 10-point lead for Houston. He was a thorn in the side of the Ducks all game long.

Houston dealt with foul trouble throughout the outing. In the first half, guard Marcus Sasser missed 12 minutes due to having two fouls. However, Arceneaux and guard Jamal Shead were able to carry the load in the backcourt in the first half.

When Sasser returned in the second half, he picked up the load for Houston. When it was all said and done, Sasser finished with 16 points. Shead had 13 points and four assists. Arceneaux had 15 points and five rebounds.

Throughout the game, Oregon (2-2) had a rebounding edge over Houston. The Ducks out-rebounded the Cougars 37-28, including a 15-to-10 advantage on offensive rebounds. Both are feats that do not happen often against the Cougars.

Oregon presented Houston with a four-point deficit in the first half, their largest of the season, giving the Cougars their toughest challenge of the season by far.

Despite Houston building as much as a 16-point lead in the second half, Oregon continued to be resilient and cut the deficit to as few as six. The Ducks had a few chances to make it closer but could not convert on offense. Sasser delivered the final blow with a 3-pointer that put Houston up nine with less than a minute left in the game.

Oregon center N’Faly Dante gave Houston issues throughout the night. He led the Ducks with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Houston will get a few days off before returning to action. The Cougars next play on Saturday against Kent State at 1:30 p.m. CT inside the Fertitta Center.

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