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No. 3 Houston pulls away from UCF for win

Jan 25, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Houston Cougars forward J'Wan Roberts (13) dunks the ball dunks the ball in front of UCF Knights forward Taylor Hendricks (25) during the first half at Addition Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Emanuel Sharp scored 18 points and Jarace Walker added 17 to lead five Houston players in double figures as the No. 3 Cougars pulled away from host UCF for an 82-71 victory in AAC play on Wednesday in Orlando.

Sharp went 5 of 7 from the field, including a red-hot 4 of 6 from 3-point range, to go along with three rebounds. Walker hit 6 of 10 from the field, including 1 of 3 from deep, and added four rebounds and three assists.

Marcus Sasser finished with 14 points and four assists, while Jamal Shead added 14 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for the Cougars.

J’Wan Roberts chipped in 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Houston, which has won 10 of its past 11 games.

The Cougars (19-2, 7-1) shot 29 of 57 (50.9 percent) from the field, including an impressive 11 of 27 (40.7 percent) from 3-point range. Houston outrebounded the Knights 38-27.

UCF (13-7, 4-4), which has lost three straight, was led by Ithiel Horton, who shot 6 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from deep, to finish with 18 points and five rebounds. Taylor Hendricks added 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists. C.J. Kelly had 11 points and five assists.

The Knights shot 23 of 53 (43.4 percent) from the field, including 9 of 23 (39.1 percent) from beyond the arc.

After the Knights pulled to within 54-50 with 13:15 to play, the Cougars put the game away by going on a 9-2 run to take a 63-52 advantage following Sharp’s 3-pointer with 11:44 remaining.

After Houston took a 36-27 on Shead’s free throw with 4:49 left in the first half, the Knights held the Cougars to just one field goal the rest of the way to close to within 38-34 at halftime.

–Field Level Media