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MENS BASKETBALL


Houston 82, Texas Tech 59

Houston 82, Texas Tech 59

DAVE SKRETTA
ASSICATED PRESS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - L.J. Cryer hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points as top-ranked Houston, playing most of the way without injured big man J’Wan Roberts, used a big second half to rout No. 25 Texas Tech 82-59 in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Roberts played only a few minutes in each half after hurting his right leg, but the rest of the short-handed Cougars covered for him. Emanuel Sharp scored 17 points and conference player of the year Jamal Shead had 12, helping Houston (30-3) outscore its old Southwest Conference rival 50-30 in the second half to reach the title game in its first year in its new conference.

Chance McMillian scored 15 points and Joe Toussaint had 10 for Texas Tech (23-10), which closed to 40-38 with 16 1/2 minutes to go before Houston ripped off a 17-0 run over the next five minutes to turn a close game into a laugher.

Pop Isaacs, the Red Raiders’ leading scorer, was held to six points on 2-for-13 shooting.

Houston won the regular-season Big 12 title and has spent the past three weeks atop the AP Top 25 despite a wave of injuries — even before Roberts was hurt — that crippled the front line Kelvin Sampson expected to have this season.

Terrance Arceneaux was the first to go down with a torn Achilles tendon in December. Ramon Walker Jr. tore the meniscus in a knee in February, and Joseph Tugler broke a bone in a foot about a week later to end his season.

The Cougars compensated for Roberts’ injury by cinching up their defense, forcing Texas Tech into several shot-clock violations.

The Red Raiders, who started 4 of 21 from the field, briefly found their stride late in the first half. McMillian came off the bench to hit a pair of 3s and score 10 points, and Texas Tech used a 17-5 run to close to 32-29 at the break.

But Houston got an emotional boost, if nothing else, when Roberts limped onto the floor for the second half. And while he only played a few minutes before icing his leg on the bench again, his return coincided with the Cougars’ decisive run.

Houston athletics press release

March 15, 2024





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