Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kevin M Cox/AP/Shutterstock (13640356a) Houston guard Jamal Shead (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kent State, in Houston Men’s Basketball, Houston, United States – 26 Nov 2022
The No. 1 Houston Cougars men’s basketball team flexed all of its muscles in Tuesday night’s beat down of Norfolk State inside the Fertitta Center.
Draining 3’s, throwing down rim-rattling slams, defending at a high level, and taking care of the ball, Houston (7-0) jumped out of the gates with a 3-pointer from guard Tramon Mark and never looked back, winning the game wire-to-wire 100-52 against the Spartans.
The Cougars had four different players in double figures at halftime. Five players finished the game in double figures. Norfolk State (5-3) faced the wrath of all of Houston’s weapons.
Guard Marcus Sasser was on fire from behind the arc. He hit seven 3-pointers in the game. Sasser led all scorers with 25 points and added four assists. Fellow guard Jamal Shead hit all four of his 3-pointers, scored 12 points, and added 11 assists for the double-double. Mark, who got things rolling for UH, finished with 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
It was a night and day difference in performance by the Cougars from their outing against Kent State on Saturday. Houston shot 57.6% from the field for the game. The Cougars also assisted on 26 of their 38 made field goals. Houston had only nine turnovers.
The highlight play of the night came on a steal by Sasser around the midpoint in the first half. After the guard poked the ball loose, it rolled over into the backcourt.
Houston forward Reggie Chaney hit the hardwood trying to corral it. Mark dove on the floor ahead of him, clamped it down, and passed it up to Roberts, who slammed the ball through the hoop.
The play caused the crowd to erupt in the Fertitta Center and put Houston up 19 with just under 11 minutes left in the first half. It was a play symbolic of the culture the team has created under head coach Kelvin Sampson.
Roberts had another eye-catching play in the second half when he sent a layup attempt by Norfolk State guard Cahiem Brown into the first row of the Fertitta Center crowd.
Shead limped out of the game and to Houston’s bench during the middle of the second half, but he later returned to the contest and finished the game on the court.
Houston will next take the court against St. Mary’s of the West Coast Conference on Saturday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth as a part of The Battleground 2K22 event. The game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. CT and air on ESPN2.