HOUSTON (AP) — Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 points and seven rebounds and No. 8 Houston avenged its only loss with an 86-59 win over Tulsa on Wednesday night.
Sasser, who scored 18 points in the first half, finished 8 of 15 from the field, including 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. Tramon Mark had 11 points and six rebounds for the Cougars.
Houston (12-1, 7-1 American) shot 43%, including 13 of 32 on 3-pointers. The Cougars outrebounded Tulsa 52-24, and had a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.
The Cougars won their fifth straight since falling to the Golden Hurricane 65-64 in Tulsa on Dec. 29.
Brandon Rachal scored 18 points, and Keshawn Williams added 10 points for Tulsa (8-5, 5-3). The Golden Hurricane shot 37% and were 7 of 22 on 3-pointers.
Houston used a 23-3 run over an eight-minute stretch of the first half to open up a 29-9 lead, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Sasser, who had 13 points in the stretch.
The Cougars ended the first half on a 7-0 run, capped by a dunk by Brison Gresham and took a 45-19 lead into halftime.
Tulsa: Houston’s 86 points were the most allowed by Tulsa this season. The Golden Hurricane entered as the second-best defense in the American, allowing 60.9 points per game. Tulsa’s 19 first-half points tied for the lowest the Golden Hurricane has scored in the first half this season.
Houston: Sasser’s 26 points were the most a player has scored against Tulsa this season. Houston forced Tulsa into 18 turnovers, which the Cougars turned into 26 points. Houston committed 15 turnovers. The Cougars had a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Following a scrum for a loose ball less than two minutes into the second half, Gresham was issued a technical foul, and after another battle for a loose ball 10 minutes later, DeJon Jarreau and Elijah Joiner were each issued technical fouls. The teams combined for 35 fouls.
Tulsa: Hosts Tulane on Saturday.
Houston: Travels to Temple on Saturday. The Cougars’ originally scheduled game against Cincinnati on Saturday was postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing at Cincinnati.
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