Jamal Shead weaved his way around several unorganized Tiger defenders before pulling up inside the arc and burying the jumper, and the Tigers, as time expired. Number one Houston dog-piled Shead after the 67-65 win.
After Jarace Walker blocked a Kendric Davis runner out of bounds, Davis laid it in to tie the game at 65 with eight seconds to go. However, Kelvin Sampson elected not to call a timeout, and Jamal Shead took the ball up the court.
“I knew coach (Sampson) wouldn’t call a timeout,” Shead said. “God-willing I was able to make that shot.”
Houston had gone completely dormant on the offensive end for much of the second half after leading by as many as 12 points in the first half. Memphis took advantage of UH’s offensive struggles and took the lead. They eventually went up five points at the under-8 timeout.
The Cougars roared back to take back the lead, holding the Tigers to without a field goal for over six minutes while scoring ten-straight points to take a 61-56 lead.
“Just fighting back,” Shead said. “A lot of us were tired. We were talking to each other, ‘just keep pushing, we’re almost there.’… and we came out on top.”
Memphis clawed back, and Davis tied the game at 63 with a deep three. Shead then banked in a layup high off the glass with over a minute to go to set up the final sequence.
The Cougars played well in the first half, leading 41-32 after 20 minutes thanks in part to 14 first-half points from Tramon Mark. However, UH’s foul trouble allowed Memphis to hang around, as half of their 32 first-half points came from the free-throw line.
Mark and Shead finished tied as the team leaders in scoring with 16 points. Shead also added seven assists, and Mark grabbed eight boards.
The win sets a new school record for conference wins (17) and ties the record for regular-season wins (29). Seventeen wins also tie the AAC’s mark for best conference record ever, matching the 2016-17 SMU Mustangs.
After tying it against Wichita State, Sasser broke the school record for career three-pointers made, besting Robert McKiver’s total of 261 set in 2008.
The top-seeded Cougars play at noon on Friday in Fort Worth.
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