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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Men's Basketball

No. 1 UH scores 100 in blowout victory over Norfolk State


J'Wan Roberts blew the roof of Fertitta Center with a two-handed slam in the first half of No. 1 UH's victory over Norfolk State on Tuesday night. | Anh Le/The Cougar

J’Wan Roberts blew the roof of Fertitta Center with a two-handed slam in the first half of No. 1 UH’s victory over Norfolk State on Tuesday night. | Anh Le/The Cougar

As UH took the Fertitta Center floor as the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in over four decades, one thing was abundantly clear — whatever Kelvin Sampson told his team after a narrow win over Kent State in which UH couldn’t buy a 3-pointer and committed a season-high 23 turnovers, his message was received.

“(It was) a lot of (Sampson) yelling and us listening,” said UH junior point guard Jamal Shead when asked about the film session following the Kent State game. “You see your mess ups. We went through each turnover. 23 of them. That’s a lot mess ups.”

Sampson spent the next two practices focusing on one thing with his team.

“We worked on offense,” Sampson. “That’s probably the first time all year that’s all we did was work on offense. Usually, we’re so defense dominant but the last two days we were offense dominant.”

As a result, Tuesday night was a different story.

UH was firing on all cylinders from the opening tip as the Cougars hit the century mark in scoring in a blowout 100-52 victory over Norfolk State.

A 3-point shot was equivalent to a layup with the way UH shot the ball.

Junior guard Tramon Mark swished a 3 from the left corner to open the game. Shead followed, connecting from the exact same spot on the Cougars’ next trip down the court.

UH had nine 3-pointers 12 minutes into the game and finished with a Fertitta Center-record 17 on a shot from walk-on junior guard Ryan Elvin to get the Cougars to 100 points.

Marcus Sasser played like one would expect from a Preseason All-American, hitting seven 3s on his way to a season-high 25 points.

“(Sasser) just needed to see one go in,” Sampson said. “Once he saw one go in, he saw another one go in and I said ‘They’re in trouble.’ His shot selection tonight was unbelievable.”

Shead finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and dishing out 11 assists.

Mark had 16 points, six assists and five boards.

Sophomore forward Ja’Vier Francis had a strong second half, finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Out of UH’s 38 made field goals, 26 were assisted on.

“Tonight the emphasis was on ball movement, body movement and execution,” Sampson said. 

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