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1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 PM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Dec 23, 2018
Fertitta Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 5,383

No. 21 Houston receives gift in form of winless Coppin State

If the Houston basketball team collectively asked Santa Claus for a break from its brutal and demanding schedule over the first two months of the season, Old St. Nick has seemingly obliged.

The No. 21 Cougars host Coppin State on Sunday in the teams' final game before Christmas.

Houston is a hearty 11-0 after roaring from behind to beat Utah State 60-50 on Thursday in the third contest of a season-long seven-game homestand. Houston is off to the second-best start in school history, trailing only the 1967-68 squad, which holds the record with 31 straight wins to begin a season.

The Cougars' win Thursday extended the nation's second-longest home winning streak to 24 games.

Houston can afford to take Coppin State lightly, though. The Cougars have worked too hard to get to this point to take a step back against a team that's 0-13 and struggling to compete every game.

"Our kids have played this schedule around their finals, they've prepared the right way, and they figured out how to win," Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. "I'm proud of this team. It's always easy to pick out something negative, and we realize there are things we need to work on. However, I can't tell you how thrilled to be 11-0. We've played a tough, tough schedule."

The Cougars had to battle back to beat Utah State after trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half. Houston used a stellar defensive effort to limit Utah State to only 19 second-half points and cobbled together a 29-10 run over the first 12 1/2 minutes after halftime to sweep to the lead.

Junior Armoni Brooks paced the Cougars with 15 points and five 3-pointers, all in the second half.

Brooks leads Houston with 15.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and is one of only two players to rank among the American Athletic Conference top 10 in scoring and rebounding.

The Cougars outrebounded the Aggies 40-35 and forced 17 turnovers.

"We came out in the second half and started getting stops," Brooks said. "Once we get stops that's when all our confidence rises. We pride ourselves on defensive rebounding so it just elevates our entire team."

Coppin State heads to the Bayou City on the heels of a 80-63 loss at Louisiana Monroe on Friday that dropped the Eagles to 0-10 on the road. Guard Lamar Morgan led Coppin State with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting and tied with freshman guard Justin Steers for team-high honors with seven rebounds.

Guard Taqwain Drummond added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting while Steers scored 13.

The Eagles led 9-8 with 13:30 left in the first half before ULM forged a 16-2 run over the next 5:36 to take a 24-11 advantage. The Eagles hit 16 of their 29 field goals in the second half but could get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Morgan leads Coppin State with 10.5 points per game while guard Dejuan Clayton stands second with 9.8 points while leading the Eagles with 2.5 assists per contest. Forward Chad Andrews-Fulton is tops with 4.5 rebounds.

Updated December 22, 2018

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