The No. 4 Houston Cougars’ top-ranked defense could not stop the bleeding agaisnt the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks Saturday afternoon, suffering its biggest loss of the season on the road, 78-63. Kansas shot 68.9% form the floor for the game compared to Houston’s 36.2%.
Kansas diced up Houston’s defense early, hitting nine of its first 10 shots, with seven of those buckets coming off of assists. After a dunk put Kansas up 23-11, head coach Kelvin Sampson was forced to call timeout. Houston went brutally cold for a stretch, hitting just one of 12 shots in seven-minute stretch.
After going down 30-15, UH brought it back to within single digits, but were unable to get stops to sustain a run as Jayhawks guard Johnny Furphy scored seven straight points to bring Kansas back up 16 — the Cougars’ largest defcitit of the season.
Kansas held a commanding 43-28 lead at the half. 43 points is the most points UH has allowed in the first half all season, with the previous season-high being 34 points. The Jayhawks shot an astonishing 17 of 25 from the floor in the first half and outrebounded Houston 24-10. The Cougars shot 31.3% from the field in the half.
Senior guard L.J. Cryer’s 21 second-half points kept Kansas from running away with the game, but UH just could not put together enough stops to bring the deficit within single digits. The Jayhawks went up 15 points in the finals minutes to effectively seal the game.
Cryer led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting. All of Kansas’ starters shot at least 60% from the floor, and every player that attempted more than one field goal shot 50% or better. It was the most points UH has allowed since its 89-75 loss in the Sweet 16 to Miami last season.
Houston dropped to 19-3 on the season and 6-3 in conference play. UH will return home to play Oklahoma State Tuesday night.