Marcus Sasser catches fire, powering No. 2 UH past Tulsa
As the saying goes, when it rains it pours.
That was the case for Marcus Sasser in No. 2 Houston’s 80-42 victory over Tulsa on Wednesday night at Fertitta Center.
Entering the night, the preseason All-American guard hadn’t made more than four field goals in a single game in nearly a month. Sasser had four made field goals less than eight minutes into the game on his way to 19 first-half points. As a team, Tulsa had just 18 first-half points.
Sasser finished with a game-high 25 points, shooting 10-of-17 from the field, including five 3-pointers.
“Marcus plays the right way,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson.
Slow starts had been an issue for UH coming into Wednesday’s game. After the Cougars fell behind early, shooting 4-for-13 from the field to begin the game, it appeared that this trend would continue. But UH turned things around doing what it does best — using its defense to create easy offensive buckets in transition.
Off a missed Tulsa jumper, Tramon Mark raced to midcourt for a long rebound. Suddenly, the break was on as Sasser raced along Mark, who fed him a perfect pass for an easy layup.
On the next possession, freshman guard Emmanuel Sharp forced a steal and found Sasser in the corner for a 3, capping off a 12-0 run.
“We’re always working on something we need to get better at,” Sampson said. “Then you see them come out tonight, you see the fruits of their labor. You see why we work.”
It was all UH from there as the Cougars built the lead up to 41 at one point.
Emanuel Sharp scored 13 points off the bench. Mark finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
Of UH’s 31 makes, 21 were assisted on led by Jamal Shead’s 12 assists, one shy of his career-high.
“We put such an emphasis on ball movement and being unselfish, making the right play,” Sampson said. “(We had) 31 baskets (and) 21 assists. That’s not easy to do.”
With the win, UH (23-2, 11-1) keeps its two-game cushion atop the American Athletic Conference with six regular season games remaining.