Brooks, No. 21 Houston rally for 60-50 win over Utah State

Houston guard Dejon Jarreau, middle, dives for a loose ball between Utah State guard Sam Merrill, left, and Utah State center Neemias Queta, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Houston guard Armoni Brooks (3) drives to the basket around Utah State forward Quinn Taylor (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

HOUSTON — Armoni Brooks scored all of his 15 points in the second half and No. 21 Houston overcame a sluggish first half to rally past Utah State 60-50 on Thursday night.

Brooks shot 5 for 10 in the second half and led the way as the Cougars (11-0) came back from a 10-point halftime deficit for their 24th consecutive home win. DeJon Jarreau had 10 points off the bench for Houston, which shot 32 percent from the field, including 39 percent in the second half.

Dwayne Brown Jr. had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Quinn Taylor added 14 points and nine rebounds for Utah State (9-3), which shot 37 percent from the field but was 5 for 19 in the second half. Utah State lost its 15th straight against an AP Top 25 opponent.

Utah State forward Dwayne Brown Jr. (2) pulls down a rebound over Houston forward Fabian White Jr. (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Houston opened the second half by outscoring the Aggies 29-10 over the first 12 1/2 minutes to open up a 50-41 lead on Brooks’ 3-pointer. Brooks had all of his points in the run.

The Aggies cut it to 52-47 on a free throw by John Knight III with 4:49 remaining, but got no closer as Houston finished the game with an 8-3 spurt.

Utah State used an 11-0 run in the first half to take a 29-16 on Taylor’s dunk with 4 minutes remaining. Utah State led 31-21 at the half as the Cougars shot a dismal 7 of 30 from the field.

Utah State guard Brock Miller (22) looks on as center Neemias Queta, middle, talks with head coach Craig Smith during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Houston Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

BIG PICTURE

Utah State: The Aggies missed an opportunity for a nice resume-building win, and fell to 16-100 all-time against AP Top 25 opponents. Utah State finished with 17 turnovers, which Houston turned into 17 points. The Aggies shot 10 of 14 from the free throw line but 4 of 20 from the 3-point line, including 1 of 10 in the second half.

Houston: The Cougars used a strong defensive effort in the second half to mount the comeback, holding the Aggies to 3-for-14 shooting during their large run and forcing six turnovers over that span. Houston shot 13 of 15 from the free throw line to help overcome sluggish shooting from the field.

UP NEXT

Utah State: Hosts Eastern Oregon on Dec. 28.

Houston: Hosts Coppin State on Sunday.

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