Carlton scores 22, No. 12 Houston beats Wichita St 76-66

Houston center Josh Carlton (25) attempts to shoot over Wichita State forward Kenny Pohto (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex) (JUSTIN REX, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Josh Carlton had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 12 Houston over Wichita State 76-66 on Saturday.

Carlton, who scored a career-high 30 points to go with 11 rebounds in a win Wednesday at South Florida, was eight of 12 from the field. He also blocked four shots.

The Cougars improved to 3-0 since losing leading scorer Marcus Sasser and key reserve Tramon Mark for the season due to injuries. Carlton has averaged 20 points per game and over nine rebounds per game in that stretch.

“Marcus going out, that’s a lot of points we have to replace along with Tramon,” Carlton said. “We were trying to find ways to score. Coach has emphasized getting (the ball) to me.”

Taze Moore scored 17 points, Fabian White Jr. added 15 and Jamal Shead had 10 points and seven assists for the Cougars. Houston (14-2, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) won its sixth straight and extended its home winning streak to 34 games.

Houston shot 45% but struggled on 3-pointers, shooting six of 21.

“This team is 3-0 (since losing Sasser and Mark), and the thing that I’m encouraged about is I think we can get better,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We’re going to shoot the ball better. We’re going to have bad shooting days. I’m not worried about that.”

Houston forced Wichita State into 14 turnovers, and turned those into 26 points.

“Twenty-six and we call those atomic bombs when you turn it over, and the other team goes and gets a layup,” Wichita State coach Isaac Brown said. “We have to do a better job of not giving up easy baskets on the other end, and we got to start getting easy baskets on the other end.”

Tyson Etienne scored 11 points and Dexter Dennis had 10 for the Shockers (9-5, 0-2).

“We just didn’t do a good job of taking care of the basketball,” Brown said. “Too many easy baskets led to 26 points in transition, and big boy was a handful inside. We couldn’t guard him.”

The Cougars led 36-31 at halftime and made it 65-50 with 8:40 remaining on a layup by Carlton. Wichita State responded with a 9-0 run, cutting the lead to six on layup by Ricky Council IV with five minutes left.

Houston then scored five in a row, capped by Carlton’s three-point play.


Wichita State: The Shockers missed a chance to improve its resume with a quality win. … Wichita State has not defeated an AP Top 25 opponent on the road since winning at Cincinnati on Feb. 18, 2018.

Houston: The Cougars held a 38-26 advantage in points in the paint and 40-35 advantage in rebounding. … Houston, which never trailed, committed 13 turnovers and was 12 of 17 on free throws.


NBA Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes were in attendance to be honored as members of the Cougars’ 75th anniversary team. Olajuwon, who played for Houston from 1981-84, sat courtside and was part of the halftime tribute. Hayes, who played for the Cougars from 1965-68 and now is analyst for Houston radio, was shown on the video board at halftime.

Hall of Fame coach Guy V. Lewis, who died in 2015, NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, Rob Williams and Otis Birdsong also were honored.


Wichita State: Hosts Tulane on Wednesday.

Houston: Travels to Tulsa on Jan. 15.


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