Walker scores 21, leads No. 2 Houston past Cincinnati, 72-59

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Houston Cougars forward J'Wan Roberts hits a layup around Cincinnati Bearcats forward Viktor Lakhin and Cincinnati Bearcats forward Kalu Ezikpe in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Houston Cougars on Sunday, Jan 8, 2023, in Cincinnati. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jarace Walker scored a game-high 21 points, J’Wan Roberts added 14 points and 11 rebounds and No. 2 Houston defeated Cincinnati 72-59 on Sunday.

The Cougars, who defeated the Bearcats in each of the last two American Athletic Conference tournaments, extended their winning streak to seven straight over their soon-to-be Big 12 Conference foe.

Both Houston and Cincinnati are scheduled to leave the AAC for the Big 12 on July 1.

Cincinnati guard Landers Nolley II knocked down his first four shots — all from 3-point range — to keep the Bearcats (11-6, 2-2), within striking distance. Nolley scored zero points the rest of the way.

Houston was powered by Walker

Houston, powered by Walker, went on a 12-3 run and never looked back. The 6-foot-8 freshman had 11 points at halftime and the Cougars led 35-28 at the break.

Houston scored seven points off six first-half turnovers for the Bearcats and owned a 16-8 advantage in the paint at intermission.

The Cougars opened the second half with five quick points, including a 3 by Jamal Shead, prompting Cincinnati coach Wes Miller to call a timeout.

The Bearcats then committed another turnover that resulted in a breakaway dunk by Walker.

Houston Cincinnati

Cincinnati pulled to within 10 (58-48) with 5:41 to play. Houston led by as many as 20.

Marcus Sasser, the AAC Preseason Player of the Year, finished with 16 points for the Cougars, who extended their overall winning streak to seven games.

Mika Adams-Woods led the Bearcats with 19. Viktor Lakhin added 16.


Houston: Hosts South Florida on Wednesday night.

Cincinnati: Hosts East Carolina on Wednesday night.