No. 2 Houston Cougars basketball dominates Tulsa in 80-42 rout

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Christian Smith/AP/Shutterstock (13760019a) Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) reacts after making a 3-point basket during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Tulsa, in Houston Tulsa Basketball, Houston, United States – 08 Feb 2023

No. 2 Houston Cougars basketball dominates Tulsa in 80-42 rout

No. 2 Houston Cougars basketball put on a clinic on Wednesday night as it thoroughly trounced Tulsa behind a hot shooting night from senior guard Marcus Sasser. The Cougars crushed the Golden Hurricane 80-42.

Houston (23-2, 11-1 American Athletic) actually trailed 10-9 as the first half approached the 13-minute mark. Then Sasser hit a 3-pointer that put the Cougars up 12-10, and immediately after, the floodgates opened against the Golden Hurricane.

A jumper in the paint, a layup in transition after a perfect defensive possession from the Cougars, and another 3-point basket capped off a personal 12-0 run by Sasser, which forced Tulsa head coach Eric Konkol to call timeout. Sasser ended the game with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

After the break in the action, Houston’s onslaught only continued. Freshman guard Emanuel Sharp hit a 3-pointer of his own. Sophomore guard Tramon Mark hit a second-chance jumper, and sophomore big man Ja’Vier Francis had a slam dunk in transition.

Freshman forward Jarace Walker had a hook shot in the paint, and Mark hit another second-chance basket, this time a 3-pointer. Sasser scored with another layup, and Mark another 3-pointer.

When it was all said and done, the Cougars left the Golden Hurricane buried on the heels of an impressive 37-8 run to end the half. A Tulsa team that once led by one trailed by 28 points at the break.

For Houston, its dominant stretch was highlighted by its signature style of play. The Cougars hounded the Golden Hurricane on defense.

They rebounded on both sides of the ball, which for Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson means finishing defensive possessions with rebounds and getting at least half the team’s misses on the offensive end. The Cougars had 11 offensive rebounds off their 20 misses at halftime. They finished with 16 offensive rebounds for the game.

By the time the second half rolled around, the only question in doubt was whether or not Sasser was going to set a new career high. He had 19 at the break, but only scored six in the second period.

Houston had highlight reel plays from Sasser’s smooth euro step that looks like he is gliding through the air to a powerful two-handed slam from Walker.

Wednesday night’s performance from the Cougars was complete domination.

Sharp ended the game with 13 points for Houston. He also had four rebounds and fouled out of the game. Walker had six points and eight rebounds, including three offensive boards. Mark had nine points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jamal Shead had 12 assists and seven rebounds.

Now the Houston Cougars basketball team will have a few extra days off before it returns to the road. UH’s next game will be Feb. 16 at SMU.

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