Men's Basketball Sports

No. 1 UH holds off St. Mary’s in Fort Worth

J'Wan Roberts led No. 1 UH with 15 points in the victory over St. Mary's on Saturday night. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

J’Wan Roberts led No. 1 UH with 15 points in the victory over St. Mary’s on Saturday night. | Anh Le/The Cougar

FORT WORTH — On a night where Marcus Sasser and Jamal Shead did not shoot well, it was J’Wan Roberts and Reggie Chaney that stepped up.

The duo, which is not known for their scoring, combined for 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting,  helping No. 1 UH (8-0) prevail over St. Mary’s 53-48 on Saturday night at Dickies Arena.

“(Chaney and Roberts) sat on the bench last year behind Josh Carlton and Fabian White, two first-team all-conference guys,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson. “They played against really good players and now it’s their turn.”

Points didn’t come easy for either team as both the Cougars and Gaels shot under 40 percent from the field.

“When you get two really good defensive teams playing against each other, that’s what it looks like,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson.

In a tight first half, UH closed the final eight minutes out with a 14-3 run to draw some separation heading into the locker room.

The deep ball kept St. Mary’s in the game as the Gaels hit nine of their 22 3-point attempts, but it was not enough to knock off the top-ranked Cougars.

Roberts led all Cougars in scoring with 15 points while also pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.

Chaney, who had not scored more than four points all season, finished with eight points in a season-high 23 minutes off the bench.

“Not everybody can play in a mud bath, bloodbath, mudhole game,” Sampson said. “Reggie’s pretty good at playing in mudhole games.”

Sasser, who finished with 13 points, exited the game late in the second half after suffering an apparent left shoulder injury.

After the game Sampson said Sasser experienced a subluxation of his left shoulder. Sampson does not expect Sasser’s injury to be long-term.

“He’ll be fine,” Sampson said.

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