Men's Basketball Sports

No. 1 Houston suffocates 8-seed TCU in Big 12 Quarterfinal

UH held TCU to just 23% shooting from the floor in Thursday’s win. | Anh Le/The Cougar

The No. 1-ranked Houston Cougars opened up its run in the Big 12 Tournament with a dominant defensive performance against 8-seed TCU to advance to the semifinals with a 60-45 win.

Entering the game, TCU was the only Big 12 team that UH had not beaten this season, having lost to the Horned Frogs 68-67 in mid-January. Houston will face Texas Tech in the semifinals on Friday.

Despite thoroughly out-rebounding UH 55-39, including 30-9 on offensive boards, TCU scored just 17 second-chance points and an astonishing 11-36 on layups for the entire game. As a whole, the Horned Frogs shot a brutal 17-73 (23.3%) from the floor and not a single TCU individual shot better than 50% for the game. The team also did not make a three-pointer until the 12:36 mark in the second half.

Though he was admittedly disappointed with the team’s rebounding effort, head coach Kelvin Sampson still highlighted the team’s defense in the win.

“Our defense was good, I thought we shared the ball well,” Sampson said. “When you get in the tournament and you win you don’t don’t spend all your time trying to rehash it. You win and advance.”

Senior point guard Jamal Shead and senior forward J’Wan Roberts led the Cougars’ defensive effort with a combined eight steals and three blocks, while senior guard Mylik Wilson added three blocks and a steal in 22 minutes off the bench.

“I just feel like when you’re playing hard good stuff happens,” Wilson said. “Even if they’re getting open shots just being able to contest — that bothers people.”

Roberts finished with a team-high 10 boards to go with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, while sophomore guard Emanuel Sharp led the gamer with 14 points.

TCU seemed to have a lid on its rim to begin the game, starting 0-for-14 from the floor despite rebounding five of its own misses in its first six possessions. The Cougars capitalized on the cold streak, shooting 7-for-10 themselves to take a commanding 16-0 lead at the under-12 timeout. TCU did not score until nine minutes and 40 seconds into the game.

UH led 31-15 at halftime, with the Horned Frogs held to just 7-for-37 (18.9%) from the floor in the first half with 11 turnovers.

Shead was the only player to score in double digits, logging 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting.

Houston improved to 29-3 overall on the season.

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