No. 2 Houston survives, beats Kent State 49-44

Marcus Sasser of Houston in action in college basketball
Marcus Sasser of Houston in action in college basketball

HOUSTON, Texas (November 22) —— Houston is poised to become the nation’s top-ranked college basketball team when the next poll comes on Monday after the No. 2 Cougars held out for a 49-44 win over a very determined Kent State team at the Fertitta Center here in Texas, on Saturday (26).

Houston led 24-22 at halftime and also held Kent State to 22 points in the second half while scoring 25 for themselves to secure the win and avoid being upset, which would have seen them joining current No. 1 North Carolina and No. 3 Kansas on the losing end this week.

It was a very close battle throughout the contest this weekend, as Houston (6-0) led 41-38 with under four minutes remaining in the second half. VonCameron Davis hit a 3-point jumper to tie the scores at 41 with just under three minutes remaining.

READ MORE: Roach scores 21pts, No. 8 Duke outlasts Xavier 71-64 – box score and highlights

Malique Jacobs connected on another big 3-pointer to give the Gloden Flashes a 44-43 lead with 1:05 left in the game before Jamal Shead answered with a two-pointer to give the Cougars back the lead which they maintained by making some key free throws down the stretch.

Marcus Sasser scored 19 points with five rebounds to lead the way for Houston, while J’Wan Roberts added 11 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks in the win.

Davis had 14 points and Jacobs added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals for Kent State (5-2) which shot 23.8% overall and 20.7% from 3-pointers.

Houston shot 32.0% and made only two of the 17 attempted three-pointers.

After respective losses by No. 1 North Carolina and No. 3 Kansas this week, Houston could move to the top spot in the AP Top 25. The Cougars haven’t been No. 1 since the final three polls of the 1982-83 season.


Kent State will next play as hosts to South Dakota State on Friday. Houston hosts Norfolk State on Tuesday.

Click here for full game stats and box score

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