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No. 3 Houston cruises to 39-point rout of Tulsa

Dec 28, 2022; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA;  Houston Cougars guard Marcus Sasser (0) dribbles past Tulsa Golden Hurricane guard Anthony Pritchard (14) during the first half at Reynolds Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Tramon Mark scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half as No. 3 Houston rolled to an 89-50 road victory over the Tulsa on Wednesday in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Mark was one of four players to score in double figures for the Cougars (13-1, 1-0 AAC), who seized control with a 27-4 run that bridged the two halves.

Houston’s J’Wan Roberts posted 15 points and nine rebounds, Emanuel Sharp had 14 points off the bench and Marcus Sasser added 12 points. The Cougars shot 58.1 percent in the first half, including 12 of 16 from inside the arc, to make a slow start a distant memory.

Tulsa’s Bryant Selebangue paired 13 points with nine rebounds and shot 6 of 7 from the floor. However, he missed 5 of 6 free throws for the Golden Hurricane (4-8, 0-1), who shot 33.9 percent overall from the floor. Brandon Betson and Sam Griffin scored eight points apiece for Tulsa.

Tulsa grabbed an 8-5 lead before Houston replied with a 10-0 run.

Selebangue had a layup and two dunks during the early Tulsa surge, but Mark and Sharp drilled 3-pointers that helped the Cougars claim a 15-8 lead. The Golden Hurricane clawed back to within two points before Houston reeled off another 10-0 spurt.

Sharp made all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half as Houston methodically pulled away. The Cougars’ closing push included three jumpers from Sasser, one from Mark plus a layup and a 3-pointer from Jamal Shead (nine points). Houston led 43-26 at the intermission after forcing five turnovers over the final five minutes of the half and converting eight Golden Hurricane turnovers into 13 points.

The deluge continued in the second half with Roberts, who finished 7 of 7 from the floor, converting three layups as part of a 14-2 run that extended the Houston lead to 57-28.

The Cougars made 5 of 6 field goals during that rally and extended to a 63-32 lead on two free throws from Ja’Vier Francis with 11:31 left to play.

–Field Level Media