HOUSTON (AP) — Cameron Tyson and No. 5 Houston rebounded from their second loss with a runaway victory against an overmatched NAIA school.
Tyson made a school-record 10 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 32 points, and No. 5 Houston rolled to a 112-46 victory over Our Lady of the Lake on Saturday.
Coming off an 82-73 loss to East Carolina on Wednesday, the Cougars (16-2) left little doubt against the Saints, jumping out to a big lead by halftime.
“I wouldn’t say it really got (the bad taste from the loss) out of our mouths because it’s going to be something that sticks with us for the rest of the season, but I would say it did help,” Tyson said. “We are looking forward to getting back to conference play.”
Tyson, who scored 20 in the first half, beat his previous career high of 31 points against Tulane on Jan. 28.
“I knew what my role is, and when I get my opportunities, I try to make the most of it,” Tyson said. “Those guys do a good job of finding me when I’m out there.”
Houston shot 55% from the field, including 15 of 31 on 3-pointers. Tramon Mark added 22 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Jamal Shead had 20 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and eight steals.
The margin of victory was Houston’s largest since a 131-62 win over Florida Tech in November 2005.
“The score of the game, the opponent, that’s not what’s important,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “Getting these guys reps and minutes versus not playing at all was what I had in mind.”
Jordan Embry scored nine points for OLLU (1-4), which shot 25% from the field. Ruben Monzon and Ethan White had eight points apiece.
“It’s not the litmus test that you would envision as an NAIA program, but what we’ve constantly tried to stress to our players is these will all be realized or unrealized opportunities,” OLLU coach Chris Dial said. “We want them to be put in a spot where they feel good about how they embraced these opportunities.”
Houston used a 39-4 run over a 12-minute stretch of the first half to take a 51-13 lead on a layup by Mark with four minutes remaining. Tyson had 15 points on five 3-pointers during the stretch.
Houston led 60-22 at the half. The Cougars shot 63% in the half, hitting 11 straight field goals at one point.
OLLU: The Saints played for the first time since losing 102-70 to UTSA on Dec. 20. The Saints have had eight games either postponed or canceled.
Houston: Sampson did not play any of his regular starters. The Cougars outrebounded the Saints 55-28. Houston held a 50-16 advantage in points in the paint and a 27-5 edge in fast-break points. … Kiyron Powell finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and J’Wan Roberts had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“This was kind of what I had in mind,” Sampson said of only playing the reserves. “There was never a chance the starters were going to play. This game was a reward for those guys that come to practice and work really hard, and they need to play.”
Sampson let his son and assistant coach Kellen Sampson do the coaching, and he served as an assistant because Kellen usually coaches the second unit during practice.
“I sometimes would get out of my lane, and he quickly reminded me that I was the assistant,” Kelvin Sampson said. “Make no mistake, he was coaching this game.”
OLLU: After playing only Division I schools so far, the Saints are scheduled to travel to NAIA foe Jarvis Christian for games on Feb. 17-18.
Houston: Returns to American Athletic Conference play on Wednesday at South Florida.