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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Men's Basketball

UH tournament run ends after Final Four loss to Baylor


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 03: Marcus Sasser #0 of the UH Cougars drives to the basket against the Baylor Bears during the first half of their Final Four semifinal game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – APRIL 03: Marcus Sasser #0 of the UH Cougars drives to the basket against the Baylor Bears during the first half of their Final Four semifinal game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Baylor proved to be far too much for Houston to handle as the Cougars’ historic season came to an end with a 78-59 loss in the Final Four on Saturday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Under Kelvin Sampson, UH developed an identity as a hard-nosed, physical team that dominates the offensive glass, plays stifling defense and knocks down its fair share of 3-pointers. But Baylor beat the Cougars at their own game, dominating in every aspect of the game and signifying that UH’s time on the dance floor had come to an end.

The first half was essentially Marcus Sasser versus Baylor. The sophomore guard was UH’s only source of offense in the opening 20 minutes of play, scoring 17 of the Cougars 20 points including five 3-pointers.

Every other Cougar combined to go 1 of 15 from the field in the first half.

After UH jumped out to an 8-6 lead behind a pair of Sasser 3-pointers, Baylor put on a clinic on both ends of the court, outscoring the Cougars 39-12 over the final 17 minutes of the first half.

Baylor’s Jared Butler showed why he was the Big 12 Player of the Year and first-team AP All-American, scoring 17 first half points.

Butler’s running mate Davion Mitchell added nine points and dished out seven assists in the first half.

UH looked like a different team in the second half, most noticeably making adjustments to get the bigs more involved on offense.

Junior forward Reggie Chaney scored six quick points to help UH establish a presence in the paint.

Junior guard Quentin Grimes, who was held scoreless in the first half, finally got involved in the scoring, hitting his first two shots of the second half to get UH within 16 points of the Baylor lead.

But 16 was as close as UH would get to Baylor’s lead, as the Bears remained poised and never allowed the Cougars to put together the big run they needed to in order to get back into the game.

Sasser finished with a game-high 20 points.

Grimes scored 13 in what could be his final game as a Cougar.

For more on The Cougar’s coverage of UH’s run in the NCAA Tournament, click here.

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