HOUSTON – University of Houston junior guard Cavon Baker led all players with 18 points, while junior guard Eric Weary, Jr., added 17 first-half points to lead the Cougars to a 72-58 win against Texas-Pan American on Thursday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Playing only their fourth regular-season game, the Cougars fell behind early but used a 20-6 run midway through the opening half to improve to 3-1 in 2014-15. The Cougars also moved to 10-0 against Texas-Pan American during their all-time history.
Weary sparked the Cougars in the first half, hitting all but one of his six attempts from the field, including a 4-of-5 effort from the 3-point line. The New Orleans native also drained all three free throw attempts in the first half for his third straight game in double digits.
As hot as Weary was in the first half, Baker led the charge for Houston in the second half. The Queens, N.Y., native buried 4-of-7 attempts from the 3-point line in the final 20 minutes on the way to 14 second-half points and finished with a career-high 18 points.
Baker topped his previous high of 14 points set at Murray State on Nov. 14 and remains the only Cougar to reach double-digit points in all four games this season.
Houston appeared to seize control of the game early in the second half after building a 24-point advantage. However, the Broncs used a 19-3 run over a 9:22 stretch to move to within 56-48 with 8:11 remaining in the contest.
That would be as close as Texas-Pan American would come, though. Sophomore forward Danrad Knowles answered with a basket on the Cougars’ next possession and, following a UTPA turnover, Jherrod Stiggers threw down a dunk to give Houston a double-digit lead it would never relinquish.
Stiggers joined Weary and Baker in double digits with 12 points and did a little of everything else, nearly finishing with a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Junior forward Devonta Pollard totaled 10 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading second double-double.
UTPA forward Shaquille Hines posted 16 points to lead the Broncs, while forward Dan Kimasa added 14 points with a team-high nine rebounds. Guard Shaquille Boga paced UTPA with three assists and four steals in the loss.