Houston Holds Off BYU in Thrilling Road Victory


Written by MAi' Ghen Storm, SFL Writer | Photo credit: Xavier Rosales, SFL Photographer

No. 4 Houston overcame a late BYU surge to secure a hard-fought 75-68 victory over the #21/19 Cougars inside Marriott Center on Tuesday night. Senior guard L.J. Cryer led the way for the Cougars with 23 points, including five crucial three-pointers.

Houston started slow, trailing by five points midway through the first half. However, they closed the half on a dominant 11-2 run, taking a 41-34 lead into the break. The second half saw both teams trade blows, with BYU briefly tying the game at 68 with 2:15 remaining.

But clutch free throws down the stretch from Cryer and Jamal Shead (16 points) sealed the deal for Houston. Despite not scoring from the field in the final four minutes, they held on thanks to their 17 points off turnovers and 15-7 advantage in second-chance points.

While BYU outscored Houston in the paint and fastbreak points, their struggles from three-point range (29%) ultimately proved costly. Noah Waterman led the Cougars with 17 points, but they couldn't overcome Houston's defensive pressure and clutch free throws in the waning moments.

"We put ourselves in a position where we had a chance and we just couldn't get over the top of it," said BYU coach Mark Pope. "We'll keep battling. We have a really good team and a good group in this locker room."

For Houston, the win marked their first Big 12 road victory after close losses at Iowa State and TCU. Coach Kelvin Sampson praised his team's resilience, particularly their ability to weather BYU's runs and finish strong at the free throw line.

"It tested our resolve," Sampson said. "You got to be resilient playing here because they're going to go on runs."

This victory solidifies Houston's position as a top contender in the Big 12, while BYU will look to bounce back and build on their strong home performance for the rest of the season.

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