HOUSTON — Marcus Sasser scored 25 points, Taze Moore added 12 and No. 15 Houston rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to defeat Hofstra, 83-75, in overtime Tuesday night.
Zach Cooks scored 26 points and Aaron Estrada added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Pride. Omar Silverio had 13 points for Hofstra, which shot 39% from the field and made 12 of 43 threes
Sasser scored 19 points after half as the Cougars outscored Hofstra 34-13 over the final 81/2 minutes and overtime.
The Pride, picked to finish fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association, had an answer for every Houston run until the last one.
Kyler Edwards had 10 points and 11 rebounds and J’Wan Roberts chipped in eight points and 15 rebounds for Houston, which shot 45% and was 10 of 24 on three-pointers. Houston struggled from the free-throw line, making 15 of 25.
Houston, which was picked to win the American Athletic Conference, held a 32-26 advantage in points in the paint and outrebounded the Pride 46-42
The Cougars extended their home winning streak to 26 games.
Trailing 62-49, the Cougars went on a 20-7 run to tie it 69-all on a 3-pointer by Moore from the corner with 24 seconds left in regulation. Estrada’s heave from behind the three-point line with a second left missed, but Houston touched the ball going out of the bounds. The Pride’s lob inbounds was knocked away by Fabian White Jr. to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, Sasser and Jamal Shead sandwiched three-pointers around a Cooks jumper, and Roberts hit a lay-up with two minutes to go to increase Houston’s lead to 77-71.
Notes & quotes: Hofstra has nine newcomers under first-year coach Speedy Claxton and held the lead for over 36 minutes . . . Houston guard Tramon Mark, who averaged 7.8 points per game last season, was out of the lineup with a shoulder injury . . . Houston unveiled its 2021 Final Four banner on the upper concourse at the Fertitta Center before the game. The trip to the Final Four in April was the Cougars’ first since 1984 and sixth in school history.