UH advances to fourth consecutive AAC title game behind strong shooting
FORT WORTH — Top-seeded UH advanced to its fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference tournament final with a 86-66 victory over Tulane in the semifinals.
Tulane got off on the right start and opened the game with a 9-2 run to force a UH timeout.
A similar slow start to the game compared to their previous game had UH digging itself out of an early hole.
The Cougars wasted no time turning around another bad start as they sparked an 11-0 run to force the Green Wave to call timeout and lead 13-9 with 13:29 left in the first half.
Back-to-back 3-pointers for the Cougars extended the lead to 21-16 with 11:47 left in the period.
The Green Wave never backed away and contested the Cougars on both ends of the court as UH managed to pull out to a six-point lead nearing the late end of the first half.
Both teams went scoreless in the last 2:16 of the half as the Cougars took an eight-point lead to the locker room at 37-29.
Graduate forward Josh Carlton led all scorers with 10 points while also recording four rebounds.
UH cleaned up on the boards as it outrebounded Tulane 19-11 in the first half.
The Cougars started the second half with three successful trips up the court including back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore guard Jamal Shead and senior guard Kyler Edwards.
UH jumped on a 10-4 run to open the half and stretch its lead to 47-33 with 16:22 left.
Both teams continued to produce offensively as Tulane struggled to make the stops necessary to cut its double-digit deficit.
The Cougars hopped on an 11-4 run to extend its lead to 21 at 65-44 as the Green Wave appeared to start losing hopes of a comeback.
Edwards finished the game with 20 points including six 3-pointers on the day along with seven rebounds and eight assists.
Sophomore forwards J’Wan Roberts recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds as he stepped in for graduate forward Fabian White Jr., who did not return to the game after picking up an injury in the first half.
The Cougars will now face the winner of the other AAC semifinal between No. 2 SMU and No. 3 Memphis.