By LES EAST, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Houston coach Kelvin Sampson was upset at halftime. He felt a lot better when it was over.
Corey Davis Jr. made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points to help the ninth-ranked Cougars beat Tulane 85-50 on Sunday for their 10th consecutive victory.
Houston led by 17 on two occasions in the first half, but lowly Tulane closed to 37-28 at halftime. Sampson felt his team did too much performing and not enough competing in the first half.
“Entertainers perform,” Sampson said. “Drake is an entertainer. In my day, Marvin Gaye and Al Green were performers. Those guys were great, but they were entertainers.
“We had a lot of family and friends in the stands and we put on a performance for them in the first half. In the second half we competed and got back to who we are.”
Davis and Armoni Brooks led the way as Houston went 17 for 35 from beyond the arc. Brooks made six 3s on his way to 24 points.
The Cougars (25-1, 12-1 American Athletic) opened the game with a 22-5 run. The Green Wave twice got within eight points early in the second half, but Davis made three 3-pointers during a 17-0 run that put the Cougars in command with a 58-33 lead.
“We had some momentum going into the second half,” Tulane coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. said. “They made some 3-pointers late in the shot clock and it looked like we got demoralized, our effort stalled and it snowballed.”
Tulane (4-20, 0-12) dropped its 14th consecutive game in the program’s longest losing streak in 55 years. They have six more chances to avoid the first winless conference season in school history.
Caleb Daniels scored 13 points for the Green Wave, and Samir Sehic had 12.
Houston: Brison Gresham grabbed nine rebounds to help the Cougars to a big advantage on the glass.
Tulane: The Green Wave shot 32.1 percent (18 for 56) from the field.
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The Cougars scored 10 points above their season average and won by their third-largest margin of the season even though they attempted just four foul shots in a perfect day at the line. It was the second-fewest attempts this season for Houston, which went 1 for 2 at the line in a 63-53 victory at Oklahoma State on Dec. 8.
The Cougars’ dominance was reflected in their 26-2 advantage in fast-break points.
Houston: The Cougars host USF on Saturday, seeking a sweep of the season series after beating the Bulls 69-60 on Jan. 19 in Tampa.
Tulane: The Green Wave visit Memphis on Wednesday. They lost to the Tigers 83-79 on Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
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