Caleb Mills scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and DeJon Jarreau had a near triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as No. 25 Houston escaped with a wild 63-59 win over visiting UConn on Thursday night.
Mills' step-back jumper with 48 seconds left put Houston (15-4, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) ahead 57-55. The Cougars' Brison Gresham blocked Christian Vital's attempt on the other end and Jarreau was fouled. He made two free throws with 24.7 seconds remaining to increase the lead to 59-55.
Gresham again made a significant defensive play with a steal, forcing a jump ball with the possession arrow going to Houston. Mills' two free throws increased the lead to 61-55 with 12 seconds left.
After Jalen Gaffney made a layup for UConn, Jarreau was whistled for a technical foul after taunting Huskies coach Dan Hurley. Gaffney made two free throws with 7.3 seconds left. Houston could not inbound the ball and the Huskies took possession with a chance to win or tie.
Temi Aiyegbusi missed a jumper and Mills was fouled. He made the clinching free throws with two seconds left.
Isaiah Whaley sparked UConn (10-8, 1-4) with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Vital added 14 points.
A 9-2 Houston run put the Cougars ahead 53-52 with 2:53 remaining in regulation.
After UConn's Alterique Gilbert made one of two free throws to tie the score with 2:30 left, Mills made two free throws to give the Cougars a 55-53 lead.
Whaley followed a miss by Vital to tie the score at 55 with 1:44 remaining.
UConn's James Bouknight, who was averaging 9.5 points a game, fouled out with 5:56 remaining, following a double-technical foul with Gresham after they were jawing with each other.
Houston did not have a double-digit scorer until Jarreau made a free throw with 5:42 remaining that cut UConn's lead to 47-44.
--Field Level Media