Ronnie Johnson had 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting with four assists, and Rob Gray Jr. added 17 points for Houston (2-0). Devonta Pollard, who scored a career-high 25 points in the Cougars opener against Prairie View A&M, chipped in 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Houston was 39 of 67 for 58 percent shooting from the floor, and held the Panthers to 36 percent on 17-of-47 shooting.
The Cougars jumped out to a 27-7 lead midway through the first half, and had a 47-20 halftime lead.
It was the second meeting between the schools, the last an 81-76 Houston victory in 2012.