Sharp scores 18, No. 3 Houston bounces back, tops UCF 82-71

Sharp scores 18, No. 3 Houston bounces back, tops UCF 82-71

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Emanuel Sharp came off the bench to score 18 points and No. 3 Houston bounced back from a loss that knocked it from the top spot in the rankings, beating UCF 82-71 on Wednesday night.

Jarace Walker added 17 points, Jamal Shead had 14 points and 10 assists, and Marcus Sasser also scored 14 for the Cougars (19-2, 7-1 American Athletic Conference), who lost 56-55 at home to Temple on Sunday.

Ithiel Horton scored 18 points and Taylor Hendricks had 17 for UCF (13-7, 4-4). Hendricks’ three-point play capped a 6-0 run that pulled the Knights within 67-62 with 7:02 remaining.

Horton was called for a flagrant foul with 3:19 left in the game. Sharp made two free throws to extend Houston’s lead to 74-64.

Shead swished a contested 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 78-67 lead with 2:15 remaining and Walker sank a shot from the baseline to make it 80-67 with 1:25 left, matching Houston’s biggest lead of the game.

UCF took an early 8-2 lead before Houston responded with an 11-0 run. The Cougars led 38-34 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Houston: The Cougars controlled the paint and the pace of the game for stretches in the second half, but foul trouble kept them from pulling away until the final three minutes. … The Cougars shot 50.9% from the floor.

UCF: The Knights could not keep up the pace in the second half and struggled handling Houston’s length on the inside. … UCF hit just one of its final seven shots.

UP NEXT

Houston: Hosts Cincinnati on Saturday.

UCF: Hosts Temple on Saturday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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