HOUSTON - University of Houston senior forward Devonta Pollard poured in a career-high 34 points to help the Cougars erase a halftime deficit on the way to a 98-90 win over Memphis on Wednesday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion in a game presented by Maintenance Supply Headquarters.
The Porterville, Miss., native connected on 14-of-24 shots from the field and was 6-of-8 from the free throw line in enjoying the first 30-point game of his career and becoming the 57th player in school history to score 30+ points in a game.
In addition to his point total, Pollard also added four rebounds and led the Cougars with four assists and two steals in 35 minutes of action. He set a Houston season high with his point total and joined sophomore guard Rob Gray, Jr., as the team's 30-point scorers this season.
Gray, who sat out with an ankle injury for the third straight game, finished with 31 points in the Cougars' wins at East Carolina (Jan. 30) and vs. LSU (Dec. 13, 2015).
Pollard was one of four Cougars to reach double-digit points. Junior guard and Yates High product Damyean Dotson finished with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line for his second straight 20-point game and the eighth of his collegiate career.
Freshman point guard and Westbury Christian product Galen Robinson, Jr., totaled 18 points with three rebounds and three assists, and senior guard LeRon Barnes added 12 points with seven rebounds. Junior center Bertrand Nkali tied for the team lead with seven rebounds and added a team-high two blocks with five points.
With the win, the Cougars won for the fourth time in their last five games and moved to 17-7 overall and 7-5 in American Athletic Conference play. Memphis dropped to 14-10 overall and 5-6 in league play.
Trailing 48-40 at the half, the Cougars scored 58 points over the final 20 minutes, thanks to hot shooting. Houston connected on 18-of-26 tries from the field in the second half for a sizzling 69.2 percent.
In the second half, Houston rallied several times to trim the deficit before the Tigers responded. After falling behind 77-72 on Dedric Lawson's bucket with 6:23 remaining, the Cougars scored the eight unanswered points over the next 75 seconds to take a lead they would never relinquish.
After struggling at times from the free throw line this season, the Cougars drained 14 of their final 16 tries from the charity stripe in the final five minutes to win for only the second time in their last eight meetings against Memphis. Houston finished the night 25-of-32 from the free throw line for 78.1 percent.
Things did not look good for the Cougars midway through the first half. After building a 23-17 lead on Pollard's jumper at the 10:54 mark, Memphis exploded on a 24-4 run and led by eight points at the intermission.
Following Wednesday's game, the Cougars play host to UCF at 2 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. As part of Valentine's Day weekend, fans can purchase two General Admission tickets for the price of one.
For this special discount, fans should visit uhcougars.com/16valentines. From there, fans should enter the Promo Code TMN241 in the Offer Code box with the gold lock in the middle of the page and select the section and ticket numbers they wish to purchase.
The Cougars hit the road to face Tulane at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, inside Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans. Houston enjoyed a 63-45 win against the Green Wave inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 5.
HOW TO ORDER TICKETS
Fans have a variety of ticket options to accommodate any budget. Season tickets, group tickets, single-game tickets and 3-Point Packs are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for complete information, fans can visit uhcougars.com/tickets and follow the appropriate links or click here.
Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office from 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge.
Current University of Houston students are admitted free to ALL Houston Men's Basketball game when presenting a valid ID at the doors.
Single-game tickets for Houston Men's Basketball's 2015-16 season begin at only $5 per game. Fans can purchase General Admission single-game tickets for only $5, while Reserved 2 seating is available for only $10 per game. Fans may buy Reserved 1 single-game tickets for $15 per ticket.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets by clicking here.
Fans can purchase tickets to any three remaining home games in the 3-Point Pack. Reserved 1 seating for the 3-Point Pack can be purchased for $40 with Reserved seating available for only $30.
Fans can purchase the 3-Point Pack by clicking here.
Tickets for groups of 10-24 or more can be purchased for as low as $12 per ticket in Reserved 2 for 18 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of more than 25 people can buy Reserved 2 tickets for only $10 per ticket
Groups of 10-24 can buy tickets for only $10 per ticket in Reserved 2 with prices plummeting to only $6 per ticket for groups of 25 or more.
Administrators can find more information about group tickets seating and pricing by clicking here.
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Men's Basketball news and notes on the team's Facebook page by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops.