The No.4 UH men’s basketball team made a wire-to-wire statement win Saturday afternoon over the Kansas State Wildcats 74-52 at Fertitta Center.
Sophomore guard Emanuel Sharp nailed an early step-back three right at the shot-clock buzzer to help UH jump out to an 11-0 lead to start the game.
Junior guard Damian Dunn continued his hot streak from downtown and drained a second-chance three from the corner as the lead extended to 21-9. Later, another three-pointer by senior guard L.J. Cryer caused the Fertitta Center crowd to erupt, forcing a Wildcats timeout with a score of 29-12.
A couple of threes brought Kansas State to within 11, but Shead and Dunn went back-to-back from long range, extending the lead to 17 points late in the half before entering halftime up 41-21. The Cougars forced 10 turnovers and scored 15 points off of them.
K-State hit back-to-back threes from Cam Carter and Tylor Perry before Shead scored five straight points himself to extend the lead back out to 48-31.
UH and Kansas State continued to go back and forth with Houston in complete control until Houston started hitting late free throws that grew the lead to as much as 29 points before eventually closing the game out.
UH forced 18 turnovers total and scored 25 points off of them including 11 steals. It was also the fewest points Kansas State has scored in conference play this season.
“That may be the best defensive team I’ve ever seen,” said Kansas State Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang.
Shead was the leading scorer for UH with 17 points, three assists and two steals while senior forward J’Wan Roberts scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, crossing the 700-rebound mark in his career. Houston also remained undefeated at 12-0 in the Fertitta Center this season.
“I’m really really proud of our fans, “ said Sampson of the energetic crowd at Fertitta Center. “We’re a lot better when our fans are with us.”
The Cougars have a quick turnaround coming as they travel to play Texas on Monday night.