Robinson, Brooks rally No. 24 Houston past LSU, 82-76
HOUSTON (AP) — Galen Robinson Jr. heard the “LSU! LSU!” chants with Houston down 15 points in the second half.
“It really touched a nerve, so I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m quitting, no way we are losing this game.’” Robinson said. “That’s the mindset that I had.”
Robinson scored 18 points, Armoni Brooks added 13 — all in the second half — and No. 24 Houston overcame the big deficit to beat LSU 82-76 on Wednesday night.
Robinson was 7 of 15 from the field and had six assists and five rebounds, and Brooks added nine rebounds to help Houston (9-0) extend its home winning streak to 22 games. Cedrick Alley Jr. added 13 points, Fabian White Jr had 10.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said the Cougars’ toughness in the second half was big, specifically rebounding where Houston got 11 offensive rebounds in the second half.
“We’ve worked so hard on rebounding missed shots on both ends at practice every day,” Sampson said. “We missed 36 shots, and we had 18 offensive rebounds. That’s 50 percent of your misses. It’s just extra possessions, and eventually, you’ll break a team’s will by doing that, too.”
Trailing by 15 with 19 minutes left, Houston outscored LSU 31-12 over the next 12 minutes to take a 63-62 lead. Robinson had eight points and Brooks seven during the run.
“We noticed that they were trying to take away our shooters, so that opened up driving lanes for me, and coach told me to keep being aggressive,” Robinson said.
LSU coach Will Wade said the Tigers couldn’t stop Houston, particularly Robinson in the second half.
“We couldn’t stop them,” Wade said. “Galen Robinson controlled the game. We couldn’t guard him off the bounce; we couldn’t guard the middle ball screen, and he completely controlled the game and took over. He was controlling the pace of things.”
Ja’Vonte Smart had 18 points, Naz Reid added 13 points and Marlon Taylor had 11 points for LSU (7-3). The Tigers shot 27 percent in the second half, including a nearly 10-minute stretch where they went without a field goal.
“We knew they were going to make a run, and we just got away from what got us the lead and went back to old habits that had haunted us all year,” Wade said.
Tremont Waters made two free throws with 29 seconds left to pull LSU within two. Corey Davis then made two free throws for Houston with 26 seconds remaining, Waters missed a 3-pointer, and Davis hit two more free throws.
The Tigers used a 17-2 run bridging halftime to take a 50-35 lead.
LSU: The Tigers shot 19 percent on 3-pointers, including 1 of 12 in the second half. ... LSU was outrebounded 48-35, including 18-12 on the offensive glass. ... The Tigers shot 45 percent in the first half.
Houston: The Cougars notched their third win against a team from a Power 5 conference after beating Oregon and Oklahoma State earlier this month. ... Houston struggled again from behind the arc, shooting 4 of 20. ... Davis, who along with Brooks leads the team in scoring, had eight points and played most of the night in foul trouble.
There were 51 total fouls called in the game, but only one player from each team fouled out. LSU shot 29 of 38 from the free throw line, while Houston was 26 of 38 from the line.
BREGMAN, GORDON IN ATTENDANCE
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, a former star at LSU, and Houston Rockets player Eric Gordon were among those in attendance. The Cougar mascot gave Bregman a Houston jersey to wear, but he threw it into the student section.
LSU: Vs. St. Mary’s in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Houston: Hosts St. Louis on Sunday.