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Houston 81, Penn 42

Houston 81, Penn 42

HOUSTON - L.J. Cryer scored 16 points, Jamal Shead added 14 points and No. 3 Houston stayed unbeaten with an 81-42 win over Penn.

Cryer scored 12 points in the first half as Houston (13-0) jumped to an 18-0 lead and led 39-17 at the half. Cryer scored his 1,000th career collegiate point between Baylor and Houston on a 3-pointer with 14:15 left in the first half.

Joseph Tugler had 13 points and seven rebounds, Emanuel Sharp scored 12 and Damian Dunn had 11 for Houston, which shot 48%. The Cougars forced 22 turnovers, which they converted into 25 points. Houston also held a 42-28 rebounding advantage.

“Our effort was outstanding,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said of the quick start. “We had a great plan. We knew exactly how we wanted to guard them, and our kids executed. … Our quickness and our attention to detail I thought were good tonight.”

Tyler Perkins had 10 points and Nick Spinoso added eight points for Penn (8-6).

“Just disappointed with the first 12 to 15 minutes,” Penn coach Steve Donahue said. “We got knocked on our heels, and they’re terrific first off. I didn’t think we handled it well not only on the offensive end but on the defensive end.”

Houston is one of three remaining undefeated teams along with No. 20 James Madison and No. 24 Mississippi.

Houston has won 13 straight home games and improved to 13-0 for the third time in school history, joining the 2018-19 and 1967-68 Cougar teams.

Sampson said being 13-0 probably means nothing to the team.

“They probably take their cue from me,” Sampson said. “I don’t overreact to wins and losses. I just never have. I’ve lost a tons of games. I have never ever worried about losing a game. I’ve been disappointed a lot that we lost, but that’s the extent of it because we have another game to play.”

The Quakers shot 31% and were 7 of 26 on 3-pointers.

BIG PICTURE

Penn: The Quakers fell to 1-2 against ranked teams this season. They fell to 0-8 all-time against No. 3 ranked teams. … Clark Slajchert, who leads Penn in scoring with 18.8 points per game, did not score before hobbling to the bench early in the first half and not returning.

Donahue said Clark had an ankle injury.

“Obviously, he’s been a big part of what we do,” Donahue said. “You lose a kid who is averaging close to 20 (points per game) in a game like this, makes the task that much more daunting.”

Houston: The Cougars were without starting forward J’Wan Roberts, who has been dealing with a knee injury. Tugler started in his place. … Houston continued to get it done on the defensive end but also continued to get it done in the paint, outscoring Penn 44-14 in the paint.

Houston athletics press release

December 30, 2023





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