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No. 3 Houston leans on defense to knock off Oregon

Houston basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson talks with freshman Jarace Walker during a pause in play against St. Joseph's at Navy's Alumni Hall on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Annapolis, Md.

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Credit: Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Marcus Sasser overcame first-half foul trouble to score 16 points, and No. 3 Houston used a dominant defensive performance to defeat Oregon 66-56 Sunday night in Eugene, Ore.

Freshman Terrance Arceneaux came off the bench to score 15 points, Jamal Shead had 13 points and four assists and Jarace Walker had 10 points and six rebounds for the Cougars (5-0).

N’Faly Dante almost single-handedly kept Oregon (2-2) in the game with team-high totals of 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals. Will Richardson added 13 points and Quincy Guerrier scored 12.

The Cougars scored 30 points off 16 Ducks turnovers and limited Oregon to 38.8 percent shooting (19 of 49), including just 3-for-22 from 3-point range.

The already short-handed Ducks were further hobbled when starting guard Keeshawn Barthelemy suffered an apparent ankle injury on a drive to basket late in the first half. Barthelemy didn’t return, leaving Oregon with just seven scholarship players in the second half.

The Cougars led 31-24 at the half despite Sasser scoring just three points as he played only eight minutes due to two early fouls.

With the score tied at 15-all, the Cougars went on a 12-0 run, with Arceneaux scoring 10 points during the surge on a pair of 3-pointers, a dunk and a second-chance layup.

The Ducks had a chance to take the lead early in the second half, but a turnover led to a 3-pointer by Sasser and the Cougars pulled away again.

Houston’s biggest lead was 16 points, 58-42, with 7:20 remaining.

The Ducks used a late 12-2 run to pull within 60-54 with 2:35 left, but Sasser’s 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining thwarted the comeback.

The Cougars shot 42.9 percent (24 of 56) and were 11 of 22 from 3-point range.

–Field Level Media