Men's Basketball Sports

No. 1 UH trounced by No. 6 Iowa State in Big 12 title game

UH suffered its worst loss under Kelvin Sampson in the Big 12 title game against Iowa State. | Anh Le/The Cougar

No. 1 Houston scored a season-low in points and fell in the Big 12 title game Saturday to No. 6 Iowa State by a score of 69-41, earning the title of the worst loss in Kelvin Sampson’s 10-year tenure at UH. It was also the fewest points scored by the Cougars since 1951.

Houston as a team shot 15-56 (26.8%) for the whole — a season-worst — while UH’s starting backcourt of seniors Jamal Shead and L.J. Cryer combined to hit just six of their 29 shots.

Redshirt senior forward J’Wan Roberts, who missed much of Friday’s game with a shin contusion, played just 13 minutes in the game, all in the second half. After the game, a dejected Jamal Shead focused on the team’s upcoming break team.

“He’ll be fine,” Shead said. “We’re okay but we’ve just got to get healthy and take this week to regroup.”

After falling behind in the first half, the Cougars came out of halftime out of sorts and conceded a 10-0 half-opening run to the energized Cyclones. UH committed two consecutive turnovers to allow Iowa State to hit its first four shots of the second half.

A seemingly lifeless Cougars could not muster up any significant run in the second half as they missed 12 consecutive shots through a nine-minute span. UH fell behind by as much as 32 in the game, blowing away the Cougars’ previous largest deficit of the season of 20 against Kansas in February.

The T-Mobile Center was overwhelmingly dominated by Iowa State fans, prompting Sampson to give props to the crowd after the game.

“I think I feel better for Iowa State than I do for us,” Sampson said. “That was an Iowa State moment… Kudos to their fans.”

UH will find out its first-round matchup in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday during the Selection Show which begins at 5 p.m., where the Cougars will almost certainly land a 1-seed and have at least five days of rest.

“We’re all refreshed that we get to hit the reset button,” Sampson said. “You’ve got to hope for some good fortune and prepare your kids the best you can on how to play well that night, and we will do that in our next game.”

Houston dropped to 30-4 on the season.

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