Cryer leads No. 6 Houston over Towson in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. — LJ Cryer scored 18 points and No. 6 Houston used a 19-4 run in the first half to take control on the way to a 65-49 victory over Towson on Thursday night to advance in the Charleston Classic.

The Cougars (4-0) will face the winner of the Utah-Wake Forest game on Friday for a spot in Sunday’s championship final in the eight-team event.

Cryer got Houston off to a strong start as the team turned a tight game early into a runaway. He had a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the surge as the Cougars moved in front 24-7 after J’wan Roberts’ three-point play with 9:11 left before halftime.

Towson (2-2) never got closer than the final score the rest of the way.

Emmanuel Sharp added 14 points. He and Cryer each had three of Houston’s seven 3-pointers. Roberts finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.

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The Cougars, a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, have opened strong this season. They started with three victories by 30 points or more before heading to Charleston, then leading Towson by 25 points midway through the second half.

Towson struggled to find its shot, especially from the outside, where it made just four of 15 attempts from behind the arc.

Christian May had 10 points for the Tigers.

Big picture

Towson: The Tigers will need to become more accurate if they hope to contend in the Coastal Athletic Association, formerly known as the Colonial Athletic Association. Towson shot just 25% in the first half (5 of 20) to put themselves in a big hole.

Houston: These tournaments are an early chance to give teams a look at what they might face come conference and NCAA postseasons. The Cougars, led by coach Kelvin Sampson, handled the first test well, but figure to have a sterner opponent in either the Pac-12’s Utah or the ACC’s Wake on Friday.

Up next

Towson faces the loser of the Wake Forest-Utah game on Friday night.

Houston will face the Wake Forest-Utah winner earlier Friday.

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