Rutgers erased a 10-point deficit against Houston but gave the lead right back with an inability to defend the perimeter. Houston dominated Rutgers from long range to take an insurmountable lead in the second half.
Houston nailed 11 three-pointers, and turned the second half into a dunking highlight reel.
Junior Kadeem Jack gave Rutgers a second-half lead with a layup. Up 38-37 with 15:55 to play, the Scarlet Knights found themselves down by double digits four minutes later. Houston's 22-3 run closed out any chances for Rutgers (8-10, 2-3) to start strong in Texas.
Junior Myles Mack led Rutgers with 15 points, but spent much of the second half on the bench. Jack finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
It is a short turnaround for Rutgers, which hops on a bus to Dallas Sunday afternoon. Rutgers sets its sights on returning to .500 in the American Tuesday night against SMU (13-4) and head coach Larry Brown.