Sasser injured for No. 1 Houston in AAC tourney

Sasser injured for No. 1 Houston in AAC tourney

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Marcus Sasser left the first half of top-ranked Houston’s AAC tournament semifinal win on Saturday with an apparent groin injury.

The school reported at the start of the second half of the game against Cincinnati that Sasser was doubtful to return, and ESPN’s broadcast reported that the senior guard said he wouldn’t return.

“They’re still evaluating it,” coach Kelvin Sampson said after the game. “We’ll see.”

Sasser crumpled to the floor with about 6½ minutes left in the first half and was in obvious pain after the noncontact injury. He was dribbling between the conference logo and the 3-point line when his right foot appeared to slip, throwing him off balance before his left foot slipped as well and put him in an awkward split.

“He never misses practice. He never misses a rep. As soon as he went down I was concerned for him,” Sampson said. “The only thing I know is it’s not his knee.”

Despite the loss of Sasser, top-ranked Houston advanced to its fifth AAC championship game in a row with a 69-48 win over the Bearcats on Saturday. Jamal Shead had 16 points and nine assists for the Cougars, who were up by eight points when Sasser got hurt and expanded their lead to 38-23 by halftime.

In Houston’s 60-46 quarterfinal win over East Carolina on Friday, Sasser scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half as the Cougars overcame their worst-shooting game of the season.

A starter on the Cougars’ 2021 Final Four team, Sasser missed their run to the NCAA Elite Eight last season after breaking a bone in his left foot before Christmas.

Houston is 11-0 in Dickies Arena, and it still hasn’t lost away from home this season. It’ll play either Memphis or Tulane in Sunday’s AAC final.


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