An explosive first-half performance from Marcus Sasser propelled the No. 2 Houston Cougars to its 23rd win Wednesday night in an 80-42 thrashing of Tulsa at the Fertitta Center.
Sasser outscored Tulsa by himself in the first half. He hit the swished a three-pointer on the first possession of the game and, later in the half, went on a 12-0 run by himself. That run was capped by two buckets in 18 seconds off a pair of steals that set off the Fertitta Center crowd.
Sasser’s surge was the first leg of a run that saw the Cougars turn a three-point deficit into a 19-point lead as the stingy Cougar defense held Tulsa to one field goal in 10.5 minutes. Houston dominated the glass, grabbing 18 boards to Tulsa’s seven during that span.
UH stretched the lead and entered the locker room with an insurmountable 46-18 lead. Sasser had 19 points, while Tramon Mark had nine and seven rebounds at the half.
Tulsa failed to put up much resistance in the second half. After hitting its first two threes to start the game, Tulsa missed their next 17 before finally hitting one at the 16:20 mark in the second half.
Every available player on the roster got into the game in the second half, and with well over 10 minutes to play, the student section began to chant for the entrance of fan-favorite Ryan Elvin. Elvin took off his warmup top, and the crowd went wild as he jogged to the scorer’s table. Elvin missed his first two shots before getting a pass in the corner from Shead, which he drained for a three. Elvin scored again on a jumper and finished with five points.
Sasser played just nine minutes in the second half, finishing with 25 points on 10/17 shooting. Jamal Shead dished a season-high 12 assists, his tenth career game with 10+ assists. Meanwhile, Tramon Mark gobbled up a career-high nine rebounds, one of five Cougars to finish with six or more (J’Wan Roberts had the most – 10). Emanuel Sharp had a strong showing with 13 points and the highest plus/minus of the game before fouling out with over three minutes left.
Houston won its 11th conference game and moved to 23-2 overall. The Cougars will have time to recuperate as they begin an eight-day layoff before facing SMU in Dallas.
Watch: Postgame Press Conference | UH/Tulsa Gamebook | Season Stats | Week-By-Week Stats | 2022-23 Gamebooks
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