HOUSTON (AP) L.J. Cryer scored 21 points, Damian Dunn added 15 points and No. 6 Houston defeated Stetson 79-48 on Monday night.

Cryer, a transfer from Baylor, had 14 points in the first half on 6 of 9 shooting. He finished 9 of 15 from the field, including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. Cryer had struggled in his first two games with the Cougars shooting 7 of 26 and 3 of 16 on 3-pointers.

“He’s been working so hard to learn our defensive system, it is not something I even thought about,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said of Cryer’s struggles. “It’s tougher to learn our defense than anything else. That probably had something to do with that, too. Once he gets comfortable - he’s still a ways away from that - his ability to make shots. … Making shots has never been a problem with that kid no matter where he went.”

Mylik Wilson scored 11 points, and Terrance Arceneaux had 10 points for Houston, which leaned on its defense forcing 23 turnovers and turning it into 39 points. The Cougars (3-0) had 17 steals. Houston shot 53% and were 9 of 20 on 3-pointers.

“Our ability to get deflections and create turnovers allows us to use our athleticism,” Sampson said. “Our style of play is our style of play. It has everything to do with our system.”

Houston had 40 points off its bench led by Dunn, a transfer from Temple.

“We kind of planned it that way,” Sampson said of Dunn coming off the bench. “One of the things we wanted to manufacture with this roster is to have depth.”

Alec Oglesby and Jalen Blackmon each scored 11 points to lead Stetson (1-2). The Hatters shot 44% and were 9 of 18 on 3-pointers.

“Obviously, a lot of turnovers for us,” Stetson coach Donnie Jones said. “That was something we couldn’t do coming into this game because we know they’re terrific defensively. They create adversity with how they play with their defense.”

After the Hatters had closed within 21-14 with six minutes left in the first half. Houston ended the half on a 17-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Cryer, to take a 38-16 lead into halftime.


Stetson: The Hatters started 5 of 8 from the field, which included four 3-pointers, but they missed 10 straight field goals as Houston pulled away.

Houston: The Cougars’ size and speed as well as swarming defense has been an issue for teams so far this season. Houston outrebounded the Hatters 33-21 and owned a 30-16 advantage in points in the paint.


Houston held a moment a silence prior to the game in memory of former football players D.J. Hayden, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu who died in car crash on Saturday morning.


Stetson: Faces Milwaukee Nov. 20 as part of the Sunshine Slam in Daytona, Florida.

Houston: Faces Towson on Thursday in the Charleston Classic in South Carolina.


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