Cougars Embarrass SMU, 87-53

Houston popped off 2023 with an 87-53 drubbing of the SMU Mustangs on Thursday. Freshman Jarace Walker scored 23 and had 10 rebounds, his most complete game as a Cougar. Four other UH players scored in double digits.

SMU got on the board first with an easy hook shot, but Houston went on a 24-0 tear over the next 8.5 minutes to blow the game wide open. Walker asserted himself early, scoring Houston’s first eight points and 16 of their first 29. Walker played with more purpose than he had since the Virginia game.

SMU finally scored again just before the under-12 timeout, but the Cougars had amassed a 29-6 lead by then. After the timeout, the game turned into a bit of a foul-fest, with 12 fouls called in the final 10 minutes of the half, including four in a 25-second span. SMU was bailed out as the shot clock ended and again right at the halftime buzzer. Despite that, UH finished the half up 49-23.

After six assists in the first half, Marcus Sasser started out the second half by hitting two straight three-pointers as the Coogs stretched the lead to 30. A few minutes later, he found Jarace Walker for a three on the wing, tying his career-high in assists at seven.

The next Houston possession, Walker flew in for an athletic put-back to make the score 60-29. When the Mustangs tried to inbound the ball, Sasser intercepted it and was pulled out of the air by SMU’s Emory Lanier. Sasser fell hard onto the floor and immediately got up and began walking toward Lanier, but was stopped by his teammates and even Kelvin Sampson himself before any major scuffle could occur.

“The thing I liked about tonight is our defense drove us,” Kelvin Sampson said after the game. “The actions that SMU likes to run, we did a good job guarding it.”

Houston held the Mustangs to just 15 made shots.

SMU Fewest Made Shots Last 6 Years

Made FGsOpponentDate
11UCF2/17/2018
14Cincinnati1/28/2020
15Houston1/5/2023
15Houston1/31/2021
16UConn1/25/2018

Young reserves played extended time in the rout, with Emanuel Sharp (23 minutes), Ja’Vier Francis (21) and Terrance Arceneaux (19) leading the way. Sharp finished with nine rebounds, Francis had 8 points and seven boards, and Arceneaux scored 10. Meanwhile, Terrance Arceneaux scored eight of his 10 points in the second half.

Fan-favorite Ryan Elvin checked in alongside Darius Bowser at the under-four timeout. Elvin hit a long three to cap off the UH’s final conference home game against SMU.

Houston grabbed 21 offensive rebounds on 37 missed shots (56.8%) while SMU had only 7 offensive boards (on 34 shots – 20.6%).

UH is now 15-1 and 3-0 in the American. Box Score

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