Sasser and Shed lead No. 1 Houston, passing South Florida 83–77.

Markus Sasser scored 25 points and Jamal Shed scored 13 as backcourt mates, scoring a combined 38 of Houston’s 46 points in the second half.

HOUSTON. Markus Sasser scored a career-high 31 points, Jamal Shed added 20 points and six rebounds, and No. 1 Houston used a huge second half to beat South Florida. 83-77 Wednesday night.

Sasser scored 25 points and Shed scored 13 as backcourt mates, scoring a combined 38 of Houston’s 46 points in the second half. Sasser, a preseason All-American, finished 7 of 17 from the field, including 6 of 12 on three-pointers. In the second half, Sasser and Shed together hit 10 of 16 from the field and were 6 of 11 on triples.

Tramon Mark scored 13 points for Houston (17-1, 5-0 ATC), which won its eighth game in a row.

Tyler Harris scored a season-high 31 points, Russell Cheva added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Jamir Chaplin scored 14 points for the Bulls (7-10, 0-4) in a fourth consecutive loss. Harris was 9 of 13 from the field, including 6 of 10 on three points.

Houston shot 42%, including 11 of 27 from the 3-point line. The Cougars got South Florida to commit 18 passes and converted them to 13 points.

South Florida shot 49%, including 10 of 21 three-pointers.

Trailing 53–48 with 14 1/2 minutes left, Houston went on a 20–4 streak for the next 7 1/2 minutes to open an 11-point lead thanks to a three-pointer Shed. Sasser scored 13 points during the dash. The Bulls never got more than six points closer to the end of the road.

Houston used the 10-0 streak to open a 37-26 lead thanks to an Emanuel Sharp three-pointer with three minutes left in the first half, but South Florida responded with a 10-0 streak to end the half to cut the lead to one on Chaplin’s layup.

BIG PICTURE

South Florida: The Bulls fell to 0–6 all-time against #1 ranked teams. … South Florida didn’t score a field goal for almost 8.5 minutes in the second half as Houston kept running. … The Bulls beat Houston 36-30 with South Florida having a 26-22 paint lead.

Houston: Jaras Walker, who scored more than 20 points in two straight games, retired from the roster on Wednesday due to illness. … The Bulls’ 36 points in the first half was the most Houston allowed before the break this season, and the 77 points was also a season-high. … Houston won for the 12th straight over the Bulls.

PROBLEM

The teams scored 45 fouls in total. Houston hit 22 of 32 from the free throw line, led by Sasser, who was 11 of 14. The Bulls hit 21 of 27 from the line and Cheva hit 8 of 9.

NEXT

South Florida: in East Carolina on Sunday.

Houston: in Tulane, January 17th.

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