No. 8 UH still ascending: ‘There is another level to where we can go’
For the second straight game, eighth-ranked Houston was cruising past an American Athletic Conference opponent inside of the Fertitta Center.
Junior guard Marcus Sasser had a hot hand, shooting 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, and had 18 points heading into the halftime break.
As a team, UH lead 45-19, the same score from Sunday’s game when they thrashed rival UCF, but this time it was against Tulsa. The only team that has defeated the Cougars in the 2020-21 season.
Entering Wednesday’s contest, the Golden Hurricane were the second-best scoring defense in the conference, holding opponents to only 60.9 points per game. The Cougars beat that mark by nearly 26 points.
After the game, redshirt freshman forward J’Wan Roberts was asked whether the Cougars saw the game as one of revenge, and he said yes.
“First time we played them, they got whatever they wanted,” Roberts said. “We weren’t really aggressive. We didn’t come to really fight, and I feel like being at home. Having that home crowd behind us and everyone hyping us up. We had that juice to go at them and make sure we didn’t lose two in a row.”
With the team now having atoned for its only loss, it will look to chug along and continue to get better as the season progresses.
The Cougars (12-1, 7-1 AAC) have now won five straight games, and will next look to increase that streak on Saturday when they play against the Temple Owls, which was recently added after the original matchup against Cincinnati was postponed.
“As time goes by, you should be getting better,” UH head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “During the season, your team is a lot like an elevator. You’re either going up or you’re going down, but you’re never staying still.”
Two of those players that have shown a significant improvement from last season, and as this season has gone on, have been Sasser and junior guard Quentin Grimes, who combined for 44 points in the win.
After the game, both players, along with freshmen guards Tramon Mark and Ryan Elvin, came back out onto the court at Fertitta Center and shot around for a few extra minutes.
With over 10 conference games still left, however, No. 8 UH is optimistic about how much it can continue to grow.
” I feel like we got some more in us,” Roberts said. “I feel like we are not at the top yet. We climbing the ladder but we still got a long way to go. Right now we’re playing more together, but I feel like there is another level to where we can go. Once we go that level, it’s impossible to beat us.”