HOUSTON (AP) L.J. Cryer scored a season-high 26 points, Jamal Shead had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 3 Houston beat Texas 82-61 on Saturday for the Cougars’ third straight win.

Cryer and Shead combined to score 23 first half points on 8-of-15 shooting as Houston (22-3, 9-3 Big 12) built a 40-27 halftime lead. The duo combined to shoot 15 of 24 from the field. Cryer was 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.

“It makes life a lot easier,” Shead said about Cryer’s shooting. “We try to find the hot hand. When he has it going, the hot hand usually finds the ball.”

Houston, which has won 19 straight home games, was a No. 1 seed and the third overall team in the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s reveal of the potential top 16 teams earlier Saturday.

Houston remains tied atop the Big 12 with No. 10 Iowa State with six regular season games remaining. The Cougars and Cyclones play on Monday night.

“We’ve won too much to get excited about winning,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “I hope you don’t take that the wrong way. We expect to win and being a one seed. … I don’t know it just doesn’t matter to me.”

Houston won the rebounding battle, 45-34, and forced 14 turnovers, which they turned into 19 points.

“We talk about our Holy Trinity all the time: we defend, we rebound, we take care of the ball,” Sampson said. “Our defense was good. … We were solid. I don’t think we were great in anything today. I think we were pretty solid.”

Dylan Disu had 16 points and seven rebounds and Chendall Weaver added 11 points for Texas (16-9, 5-7).

“I thought the game got away from us a little bit toward the end of the first half,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “We didn’t come out with what we have to do in terms of physicality. … These guys are elite when you let them get second chance opportunities, play physical and tap that ball around and get second chances.”

Longhorns’ leading scorer Max Abmas was held to seven points on 2-of-14 shooting. The Longhorns shot 38.6%.

“I thought I missed some good looks, but defensive, they played really aggressive,” Abmas said.

Emanuel Sharp scored 15 points for Houston, which shot 46.8%. The Cougars owned a 45-34 advantage in rebounding and turned 14 turnovers into 19 points.


Texas: The Longhorns missed a chance for a marquee win, falling to 4-7 in Quad 1 games and 3-6 against ranked teams this season.

Houston: The Cougars improved to 10-3 in Quads 1 and 2 games. … Free-throw shooting remains an area of concern for Houston, which went 16 of 26 from the line.


With 5:39 remaining, the game was delayed for approximately 10 minutes after a TV camera that was attached to the shot clock came loose after a J’Wan Roberts dunk.


Texas: Hosts Kansas State on Monday night.

Houston: Hosts Iowa State on Monday night.


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