Assocated Press3 minutes to read
Fort Worth, Texas – American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Marcus Sasser left the first half of top-ranked Houston’s semifinal victory on Saturday with a groin injury.
The school reported early in the second half of the game against Cincinnati that Sasser was skeptical about returning, and an ESPN broadcast reported that the senior guard said he would not return.
“They’re still taking stock,” coach Kelvin Sampson said after the game. “we will see.”
Sasser collapsed to the ground with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half and was clearly in pain after the no-contact injury. He was dribble between the conference pennant and the 3-point line when his right foot appeared to slip, knocking him off balance before his left foot slipped as well and put him in an awkward split.
“He never misses training. He never misses a rep. As soon as he came down I was worried about him,” Sampson said. “The only thing I know is that it’s not his knee.”
Despite the Sasser loss, top seed Houston advanced to its fifth consecutive AAC Tournament game with a 69-48 win over the Bearcats on Saturday. Jamal Sheed scored 16 points and nine assists for the Cougars, who took an eight-point lead when Sasser was injured and extended the lead to 38-23 by halftime.
In Houston’s 60-46 quarterfinal victory over East Carolina on Friday, Sasser scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half as the Cougars overcame their worst game of the season.
A starter on the Cougars’ 2021 Final Four team, Sasser missed his run to the NCAA Elite Eight last season after breaking a bone in his left foot just before Christmas.
Houston is 11-0 at Dickies Arena, and still hasn’t lost away from home this season. Either Memphis or Tulane will play in the AAC Final on Sunday.
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