Tramon Mark scored 18 points and keyed a second-half surge that enabled the 14th-ranked Houston Cougars to reclaim control in their 77-45 victory over the visiting Alcorn State Braves on Monday night.
After the Cougars (8-1) extended their 20-point halftime lead to 47-19 by holding Alcorn State scoreless over the first 5:51 of the second half, the Braves (1-7) tried to rally.
They fashioned a modest push with a 7-0 run that featured a Dekedran Thorn 3-pointer. Mark responded with a jumper and a three-point in short order that pushed the Houston lead to 52-28 with 11:21 remaining.
Mark wasn't finished. He buried another jumper, assisted on a Marcus Sasser 3-pointer, added a putback dunk following a missed 3-pointer from Kyler Edwards, and converted a pair of free throws with 6:32 left that pushed the Cougars' lead over 30 at 64-33.
Sasser sank 5 of 9 from 3-point range en route to 17 points. Josh Carlton and Edwards chipped in 12 points each for Houston, while Jamal Shead recorded a game-high 11 assists with five points and five boards.
The Braves shot just 31.3 percent from the floor and missed 15 of 19 from long range. Alcorn State committed 20 turnovers, and the Cougars parlayed them into 30 points.
Houston survived a sluggish start to the contest, with two free throws by Edwards at the 9:26 mark of the first half ending a scoreless stretch for the Cougars of two-plus minutes.
Mark nailed a 3-pointer following an Alcorn State turnover for a 19-9 lead with 8:55 left and suddenly the Cougars were rolling offensively. The Braves, meanwhile, couldn't find the basket.
They went almost nine minutes without a field goal, missing seven consecutive attempts as the Cougars pushed to a 32-12 advantage with a 13-0 run.
Alcorn State's Dontrell McQuarter snapped that surge with a second-chance basket at the 2:35 mark of the half, but the Braves shot just 6 for 18 (33.3 percent) prior to the intermission.
The Cougars posted as many points off turnovers (19) in the first half, Houston led 39-19 at the break.
DJ Brewton paced the Braves with eight points for the game.
--Field Level Media