HOUSTON - University of Houston senior forward Devonta Pollard and junior guard Damyean Dotson each posted double-doubles to lead the Cougar to a 78-65 win over UT Rio Grande Valley on Monday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Pollard led all players with 24 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and the seventh of his career. Dotson, who prepped at nearby Yates High, scored 11 points with 10 boards for the first double-double of his career as the Cougars improved to 11-0 all-time against UTRGV (formerly Texas-Pan American).
With Monday's win, the Cougars played for the second time in three days and improved to 4-0. It marks the third time in the last four years that Houston has won its first four games of a season and the first time under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson.
It also marks the 11th time that Sampson has led his teams to a 4-0 start during his 26-year coaching career.
On a night where the Cougars struggled at times from the field, both Pollard and Dotson lead a Houston attack that outrebounded the Vaqueros 47-29, including 19 boards off the offensive glass, and outscored UTRGV 16-5 on second-chance points.
The game went back and forth with neither team building a sizable lead until the Cougars exploded midway through the second half. Battling to a 36-36 tie at halftime, UTRGV grabbed a 54-53 lead with 11:12 remaining on a Shaquille Hines bucket.
Fortunately, that would be the last time UTRGV would lead in the game. Houston took off on a 14-1 run over the next four minutes to build a 67-56 lead and was never threatened again. Pollard led the way for Houston with nine of his 22 points during that stretch.
Sophomore Rob Gray, Jr. came off the bench to total 15 points with two assists and a pair of steals, while junior point guard Ronnie Johnson added 11 points with four rebounds and three assists in the win.
UTRGV guard Shaquille Hines paced the Vaqueros with 22 points, while guard Antonio Green added 15 points and five rebounds. Forward Dan Kimasa finished with nine points and a team-high seven rebounds for UTRGV, who dropped to 2-4.
Following Monday's game, the Cougars close out their season-long, 5-game homestand when they play host to Murray State at 7 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be the Cougars' third game in a 5-day stretch.
The first 1,000 fans at Wednesday's game against Murray State will receive a FREE pint glass. As they enter the doors at Hofheinz Pavilion, the first 1,000 fans will be given a voucher, which can be redeemed after the 4-minute media timeout in the second half at both the Cullen Boulevard and Holman Street exits.
Wednesday's game can be heard live on 950 AM KPRC with Matt Thomas calling the play-by-play action and Houston legend and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. Brett Dolan will call the play-by-play, and Houston great Reid Gettys offers analysis on the ESPN3 broadcast.
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.
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 should note that single-game tickets for the Cougars' Dec. 13 showdown against LSU inside Hofheinz Pavilion will not be available.
Instead, fans can purchase tickets for the LSU game as part of a 3-Point Pack, which includes a ticket to the LSU game and tickets to two other Houston home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. 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.