Houston 67, Central Florida 59

Houston 67, Central Florida 59


ORLANDO, Fla. - L.J. Cryer scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half to lift No. 1 Houston to a come-from-behind 67-59 victory over UCF and clinch at least a share of the regular-season Big 12 title in the Cougars’ first season in the conference.

Houston (27-3, 14-3) led by nine points after a Cryer 3-pointer with 2:18 to play. UCF (15-14, 6-11) closed to within four with just over a minute to play, and then Cryer hit another clutch shot to pull away for the win.

The Cougars trailed by as many as seven points and never led in the first half. They did not take their first lead until Jamal Shead drained a 3 to make it 45-42 with about 12 minutes to play in the second half.

Houston’s defense stifled UCF throughout the second half, holding them to one field goal over nearly five minutes to take control of the game.

Shead finished with 16 points and eight assists. J’Wan Roberts had 12 points and seven rebounds. Cryer shot 9 of 17 from the floor, including 5 of 11 on 3-pointers.

C.J. Walker led UCF with 15 points. Jaylin Sellers added 12 points.

The Knights shot 45.5% for the game. They held the Cougars to 37.5% shooting and 2 for 11 from 3 in the first half.

Houston forced 18 turnovers and scored 22 points off them.

UCF had just four points off 10 turnovers.


Houston: The Cougars can clinch an outright conference title with a win in their last game of the regular season against No. 14 Kansas on Saturday or a loss by sixth-ranked Iowa State in either of its two remaining games.

UCF: The Knights need one more win to guarantee they will finish above .500 and get in position to receive one of the Big 12’s automatic bids to the NIT.

Houston athletics press release

March 6, 2024