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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Men's Basketball

No. 15 Houston survives scare, defeats Hofstra in OT in season-opener


UH center Josh Carlton throws down a poster dunk in the first half against Hofstra on Tuesday night at Fertitta Center. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

UH center Josh Carlton throws down a poster dunk in the first half against Hofstra on Tuesday night at Fertitta Center. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

After trailing for nearly the entire game, a late offensive surge helped No. 15 Houston get past Hofstra 83-75 in overtime in the Cougars 2021-22 season-opener on Tuesday night at Fertitta Center.

After a Marcus Sasser 3-pointer on the game’s opening possession, Hofstra responded and took the lead, which it would not squander for the rest of the first half, at the 17:52 mark.

The Pride dominated the boards early, capitalizing on second chance points. 

A 10-0 run put Hofstra up 17-7.

UConn transfer Josh Carlton provided the Cougars with a spark off the bench. The 6-foot-10-inch senior center, who scored a team-high seven first half points to go along with three boards, got UH within three hitting a pair of shots with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.

Despite Carlton’s efforts, the Cougars went into the locker room trailing 37-31.

The Pride extended their lead early in the second half, taking advantage of a couple of UH turnovers to go up 47-38.

Hofstra continued to wreak havoc on the offensive boards, taking advantage of extra possessions along with hitting a barrage of 3-pointers to extend the lead to 13.

Down 10 with just over six minutes remaining, an offensive rebound and putback shot by senior forward Fabian White Jr. electrified the crowd and the Cougars began to show signs of life.

Sasser followed by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to cut the deficit to five.

Hofstra scored the next four points but a 3-pointer from grad transfer guard Taze Moore followed by consecutive layups from Sasser and sophomore guard Jamal Shead made it a two-point game with just under three minutes left.

With 21.4 seconds on the clock, Moore hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night, tying the game at 69 and sending it to overtime, the first in Fertitta Center history.

Overtime began in the same way as the first half, with Sasser draining a shot from beyond the arc to put UH up.

Following a Hofstra bucket, Shead banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the arc as the shot clock expired to put the Cougars up four.

From there, it was all UH as the Cougars controlled the game for the final two minutes of overtime to avoid being upset.

Sasser finished with a team-high 25 points.

Kyler Edwards posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds

Sophomore forward J’Wan Roberts nearly had a double-double, leading the team with 15 boards to go along with his eight points.

UH is now 8-0 all-time in season-openers under head coach Kelvin Sampson.

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