Cryer leads No. 6 Houston to Charleston title with victory over Dayton
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — LJ Cryer had 18 points and Jamal Shead had 16 as No. 6 Houston ran past Dayton 69-55 to win the Charleston Classic tournament title on Sunday night.
Shead scored his season high and had seven of the Cougars first nine points as they opened a 14-4 lead less than six minutes in. They are 6-0 to open for a second straight season. It's the first Charleston title for Houston and its 35th regular season tournament crown all-time.
Shead, the senior who started his 66th straight game for Houston, also added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Cryer, the Baylor transfer, had four of Houston's eight 3-pointers.
The Cougars took advantage of Dayton's cold start — the Flyers made just one of their first seven shots — to open an early double-digit lead. The Flyers (3-2) came as close at 19-15 after that until Houston responded with an 11-3 burst to restore the large margin.
The Cougars, as Cryer and Shead combined for six 3-pointers, were able to keep Dayton at arms length and took a 36-28 lead into the break. They continued pushing the pace and eventually opened a 54-34 lead midway through the second half.
DaRon Holmes II had 16 points for Dayton.
THE BIG PICTURE
Dayton: The Flyers had to rally in the second half in their first two Charleston games in beating LSU and St. John's. They could not get away with it a third straight game as they managed to shoot just 26.9% (7 of 26) in the final 20 minutes.
Houston: Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson talked throughout the tournament of the struggles in pulling together this group that lost three starters from a 33-win team a year ago. The blending process seemed to go very well in these three game, all won by double digits.
Dayton returns home to play Youngstown State on Friday night.
Houston also plays next at home against Montana on Friday.
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