DALLAS - University of Houston senior guard Rob Gray posted 19 points with nine assists to lead the Cougars in a 69-56 win over American Athletic Conference rival SMU inside Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Gray fell one assist shy of posting his second straight double-double during SMU's Senior Night as the Cougars swept the regular-season series and defeated the Mustangs in Dallas for the first time since 2012-13.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 23-6 overall and 13-4 in American Athletic Conference play. Houston won for the ninth time in its last 11 games and guaranteed it will play no lower than the No. 3 seed at next week's American Athletic Conference Championship in Orlando.
SMU scored the first points of the game, but the Cougars used a 13-2 run to build a lead it would never relinquish.
The Mustangs pulled to within 31-24, thanks to four straight free throws late in the first half, but the Cougars got a jumper from junior point guard Galen Robinson Jr., and following an SMU turnover, sophomore guard Armoni Brooks buried a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 36-24 lead at the break.
SMU would move no closer than 10 points for the rest of the way.
Despite being outrebounded 33-32 for only the fifth time this season connected on 44.3 percent of their shots from the field while limiting SMU to only 37.8 percent, including 30.4 percent in the opening 20 minutes. The Cougars also forced 15 turnovers leading to 17 points.
Junior guard Corey Davis Jr. posted 17 points, thanks to five 3-pointers, and drained at least one trey in his 25th straight game, tying with Robert McKiver for the fifth-longest streak in Houston history.
Sophomore guard Armoni Brooks finished with 12 points, including three 3-pointers, while Robinson totaled four points with five rebounds and seven assists while playing all but two minutes.
SMU guard Jahmal McMurry led the Mustangs with 17 points, while guard Ben Emelogu added 14 points in the loss.
Following Thursday's game, Houston wrap up the regular season when it celebrates Senior Day against UConn at 3 p.m., March 4, inside H&PE Arena... Seniors Nura Zanna, Wes VanBeck, Devin Davis and Rob Gray will be recognized in pregame ceremonies... Game will be shown on CBS Sports Network and can be heard on KPRC 950 AM.
Cougars will be looking to post a 15-0 home record inside H&PE Arena, the first perfect home record since the 1983-84 team went 15-0.
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