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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Mar 25, 2024 12:23 am

Houston gets through foul trouble, Texas A&M in OT thriller

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MEMPHIS — Houston overcame crippling foul trouble and a dramatic comeback by Texas A&M to earn a 100-95 victory in overtime on Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament’s South Region.

Emanuel Sharp scored a game-high 30 points and Jamal Shead added 21 points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Cougars (32-4), who are off to face No. 4 seed Duke in the Sweet 16 on Friday.

J’Wan Roberts was the only Houston starter to not foul out, but the Cougars still managed to outscore the ninth-seeded Aggies (21-15) 14-9 in the extra session.

LJ Cryer scored 14 of his 20 points after halftime for Houston, and Roberts finished with 13 points, going 6-for-6 from the field. The Cougars canned 51.5 percent of their field-goal attempts in beating Texas A&M for the second time this season.

Texas A&M forced overtime when Andersson Garcia swished a 3-pointer as time expired in regulation, capping a comeback from an 81-69 deficit with two minutes left. It was just the ninth 3-pointer Garcia has made this season.

Tyrece Radford scored 27 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out six assists for the Aggies, while Wade Taylor IV added 21 points but made only 5 of 26 shots from the floor. Manny Obaseki tallied 15 points before fouling out, and Garcia finished with 12.

The officials whistled 52 fouls and administered a whopping 75 free throws. Texas A&M hurt itself by making just 29 of 45 foul shots (64.4 percent).

The first half became about two things: Texas A&M’s ability to draw fouls seemingly at will and Shead’s willingness to put Houston on his back when necessary to get it to the locker room with a lead.

All five Cougars starters picked up at least two fouls before intermission, including Ja’Vier Francis, who wound up on the bench with three after playing seven minutes.

The Aggies were in the double bonus at the 4:15 mark of the first half and kept attacking the bucket. But they didn’t get all they could have out of the charity stripe, making just 11 of 22 shots there in the first 20 minutes of action.

On top of that, Shead scored 13 points in the first half, sending Houston into the break up 43-38.

–Bucky Dent, Field Level Media

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