HOUSTON (AP) L.J. Cryer scored a season-high 24 points, J’Wan Roberts added 13 and No. 6 Houston beat Montana 79-44 on Friday.

Cryer, a transfer from Baylor, finished 9 of 16, including 5 of 12 on 3-pointers. He has scored in double figures in six straight games.

“I feel pretty comfortable,” Cryer said about his adjustment to playing at Houston. “It’s still early, so I’m still learning things on offense and defense. But I have a pretty good grasp of what to do on both sides of the ball right now, so it’s about going out there and playing hard at the end of the day.”

Jamal Shead had 13 points and seven assists. He became the seventh Houston player to surpass 500 career assists.

“It’s a testament to how much me and my teammates work,” Shead said. “I can’t get 500 assists without guys making shots.”

Houston (7-0) shot 47%, including 7 of 24 on 3-pointers. The Cougars only committed four turnovers.

“Our team traditionally does not turn it over,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We have one of the best backcourts around. I draw something up or if we teach something, there’s nothing in that play that says throw it away.”

Houston forced Montana into 16 turnovers and turned them into 21 points. The Cougars owned a 34-20 advantage in points in the paint.

“Our guys, they’re locked in,” Sampson said. “This team practices well. They listen. They follow instructions, and that’s why we’re getting better.”

Money Williams scored 15 points and Te’Jon Sawyer added eight for Montana (2-3). The Grizzlies shot 33% and were 3 of 17 on 3-pointers.

“We bit off way more than we can chew,” Montana coach Travis DeCuire said. “That’s a good basketball team. They just dominated us physically today, and we didn’t have a lot of answers for that.”

Houston jumped out a to an 11-0 lead on a jumper by Roberts and extended the lead to 25-7 with 9 ½ remaining in the first half on a layup by Jamal Shead.


Montana: The Grizzlies are 5-44 all-time against ranked opponents, including 1-23 against top-10 teams. Montana has lost 16 straight games against ranked opponents.

Houston: The 14 first-half points the Cougars allowed tied a season low. It marked the fifth time this season Houston has allowed fewer than 20 points in a half. … Free throws remain an area of concern for the Cougars, who entered shooting 64.5% from the line. The Cougars were 18 of 30 from the line Friday.


Houston and Montana met for the first time since the Cougars defeated the Grizzlies 60-58 in the NAIB Tournament on March 11, 1947.


Montana: Travels to Nevada Nov. 29

Houston: Travels to Xavier Dec. 1 as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

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