Men's Basketball Sports

No. 3 UH closes non-conference schedule undefeated in blowout over Penn

Jamal Shead scored 14 points in UH’s win over Penn. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Penn didn’t score its first point until the 10:53 mark in the first half.

Houston forced seven turnovers and outrebounded the Quakers 14-4 on the way to taking a commanding 18-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. The lead wouldn’t dip below 12 for the rest of the game as UH closed out its non-conference schedule with an 81-42 beating over Penn.

“That team (Penn) can really shoot,” said head coach Kelvin Sampson. “It speaks to our effort.”

UH ends non-conference play at a perfect 13-0, the second time under head coach Kelvin Sampson that the Cougars have done so.

“I don’t overreact to wins and losses. I never have,” Sampson said. “We’ve beaten a lot of teams that are probably just as good as we are but they just played poorly that night so they lost. And we’ve had a lot of games where we probably should have lost.”

Penn went 5-23 from the floor and committed 13 turnovers in the first half. Freshman forward Joseph Tugler finished with a career-high 13 points along with seven boards in his first career start in place of an injured J’Wan Roberts, including nine points and two blocks in the first half. UH entered halftime up 39-17.

“JoJo is following the same path that all of our good young bigs follow,” Sampson said. “Imagine JoJo four or five years from now. His best days are way ahead of him.”

Tugler was one of five Cougars who scored double-digit points led by senior guard L.J. Cryer who scored a game-high 16 points. It was Cryer’s 11th game this season with 10 or more points. Senior guard Jamal Shead and graduate guard Damian Dunn both tallied three steals.

Penn’s game total of 42 points and 31.1% field goal percentage shatters the Quakers’ previous season low in points scored of 61 and 44% respectively. Penn also committed a season-high 22 turnovers.

Houston’s next game will be its first-ever Big 12 game, coming at home against West Virginia on Jan. 6.

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