LJ Cryer's clutch 3s key No. 6 Houston's win over Utah in Charleston Classic
Fri, Nov 17, 2023
NCAAB News (AP)
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - LJ Cryer scored 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers after Utah had wiped out No. 6 Houston's 14-point lead, and the Cougars beat the Utes 76-66 on Friday to reach the Charleston Classic championship game.
The Utes (3-1) trailed 50-36 in the second half before Gabe Madsen hit three of his eight 3-pointers during a 20-6 run to tie it at 56-all with seven minutes left.
Terrance Arceneaux broke the tie with a bucket before Cryer, a Baylor transfer, hit two from beyond the arc to put the Cougars ahead 64-58.
Utah would not rally again. Houston, off to a 5-0 start for the second straight season, will play Dayton for the Charleston title on Sunday night.
Madsen finished with a career-high 29 points for Utah (3-1), and Branden Carlson scored 17.
Emanuel Sharp led the Cougars with 15 points, and Jamal Shead had 14. J'Wan Roberts had his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Utah was coming off a 77-70 win over Wake Forest in Thursday's opening round that included a career-high 31 points from Carlson.
The Utes were ahead 16-15 on Carlson's basket with 12:14 to go. Houston responded with a 24-14 run the rest of the half to lead 39-30 at the break.
Utah: The Utes' size will give Pac-12 teams plenty of fits this season. They feature a pair of 7-footers in Carlson and Lawson Lovering and have eight players at 6-foot-7 or taller. Houston's speed and defense kept Utah from taking full advantage of its size.
Houston: The Cougars are breaking in new players, including Cryer, who helped Baylor to a national title as a freshman. Playing three games in four days - the tournament takes Saturday off in deference to college football - should help the bonding process.
Utah will take on St. John's in the third-place game Sunday.
Houston faces the Flyers, who defeated St. John's 88-81 earlier Friday to advance.
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