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Josh Carlton leads No. 12 Houston past Wichita State

Sportsnaut
Jan 8, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars center Josh Carlton (25) controls the ball as Wichita State Shockers forward Morris Udeze (24) defends during the first half at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars center Josh Carlton (25) controls the ball as Wichita State Shockers forward Morris Udeze (24) defends during the first half at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Carlton recorded a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Jamal Shead converted a timely steal into a layup as the 12th-ranked Houston Cougars beat the visiting Wichita State Shockers 76-66 Saturday.

Houston, which is 14-2 overall and 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference, opened the second half 10 of 17 from the floor and led 65-50 when Shead fed Carlton for a transition basket with 8:41 left.

The Shockers (9-5, 0-2) answered with a 9-0 run that included a dunk from Dexter Dennis as Houston missed eight consecutive shots, a drought snapped by the Shead layup through a Tyson Etienne foul at the 3:53 mark.

Carlton later completed a 3-point play after corralling an offensive rebound, and the Cougars reclaimed control at 70-59.

Taze Moore added 17 points and six rebounds for the Cougars while Fabian White Jr. (15 points) and Shead (10 points, seven assists and four rebounds) helped round out another balanced attack.

Carlton shot 8 of 12 from the field and was integral to the Cougars’ 38-26 advantage on points in the paint. Houston stretched its home-court winning streak to 34 consecutive games.

Etienne led the Shockers with 11 points while Dennis chipped in 10. Wichita State never led and surrendered 26 points off turnovers while shooting 40.4 percent from the floor, including 6 of 23 on 3-pointers.

Houston opened with an 8-0 burst, but behind Etienne, the Shockers clawed back into contention. The Cougars kept a working margin behind consecutive post baskets from Carlton and held a seven-point lead when Moore drilled a 3-pointer at the 6:58 mark of the first half.

But Wichita State hung tough, with Monzy Jackson and Kenny Pohto delivering timely baskets off the bench. The Shockers closed to within three points late before Carlton converted a tip-in at the buzzer that provided the Cougars a 36-31 lead at intermission.

Jackson finished with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Shockers.

–Field Level Media