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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Men's Basketball

Houston knocks off No. 1 Arizona, advances to Elite Eight


Houston guard Jamal Shead scored a game-high points in the Cougars win over Arizona in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Houston guard Jamal Shead scored a game-high 21 points in the Cougars win over Arizona in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

SAN ANTONIO — Down goes the South’s No. 1.

No. 5 Houston knocked off No. 1 Arizona 72-60 in the South Region’s second semifinal game on Thursday night at AT&T Center to punch its ticket to the Elite Eight, where the Cougars will take on No 2 Villanova on Saturday.

The Cougars came out of the gates with fire in their eyes, quickly building up a 14-4 lead.

UH’s defense caused all sorts of problems for the Arizona, makings shots come at a premium for the Wildcats. The Cougars held the Wildcats to just 28 percent shooting from the field in the first half.

Arizona cut the UH lead to four at the midway point of the first half but the Cougars answered with a quick 6-0 run to push the lead back up to double-digits.

The first half ended with some controversy as it appeared UH had gotten a stop and would take an eight-point lead to the locker room but after an official review, it was ruled that UH senior forward Reggie Chaney fouled Arizona’s Christian Koloko with 0.6 seconds on the clock. Koloko converted both free throws to cut the Cougars’ lead to 34-28 at the half.

UH’s defense caused all sorts of problems for the Arizona, makings shots come at a premium for the Wildcats. The Cougars held the Wildcats to just 28 percent shooting from the field in the first half.

Whistles dominated the second half as fouls began to pile up on both teams. UH graduate guard Taze Moore picked up his fourth personal minutes into the second half and senior forward Fabian White Jr. picked up his third foul moments later, sending both players to the bench.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Bennedict Mathurin began to heat up and suddenly Arizona cut the UH lead to 42-40 at the 13:27 mark of the second half. UH responded once again, as a 3-pointer from sophomore point guard Jamal Shead sparked a 10-2 Cougars run to increase the lead to 10.

Moments later, senior guard Kyler Edwards hit a triple and the Houston lead grew to 12, the largest it had been all game.

The Wildcats had one last push in them, giving UH trouble with its press to cut the Cougars lead to six before Edwards hit his fifth 3 of the night which proved to be the dagger.

Arizona tried to extend the games by fouling but found no luck, as the Cougars hit their free throws capped off by a vicious slam from sophomore forward J’Wan Roberts to secure the victory.

Shead finished with a game-high 21 points.

Edwards scored 19.

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