Jan. 30, 2013
HOUSTON - University of Houston sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas flirted with a triple double, posting 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but it would not be quite enough as Rice claimed a 79-69 win inside Tudor Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening.
Thomas, who was the Cougars' leading rebounder and team's second-leading scorer entering the game, did a little of everything for Houston. The Killeen, Texas, native buried all six of his attempts from the field and drained all but one of his free throw attempts. He also added a block and a steal without committing a turnover in 35 minutes of action.
The Cougars built as much as a 15-point lead midway through the first half. However, Rice guard Max Duercy buried a 3-pointer with 5:31 left to spark an 11-4 run to close out the opening period and trim the Houston lead to 33-25 at the break.
Although the Cougars buried half of their 26 shots in the final 20 minutes, the second half proved to be all Rice. The Owls connected on 65.2 percent of their shots from the field, including 6-of-10 from the 3-point line, on the way to 54 second-half points.
While the Cougars committed only nine turnovers in the game, the Owls were even better with just four giveaways.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 13-7 overall and 2-5 in Conference USA play. Rice improved to 5-15 this season and 1-5 in league action.
Houston sophomore guard Joseph Young led the Cougars with 17 points and added six rebounds, while junior forward J.J. Richarson enjoyed a career day with Houston, scoring a career-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field with four rebounds and two assists.
Richardson, a native of Missouri City, Texas, and product of Hightower High, sat out the entire 2011-12 season after transferring from Pittsburgh.
Rice guard Max Guercy led the Owls with 21 points and four assists, while guard Tamir Jackson added 18 points, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Jackson also paced the Owls with a team-high six rebounds.
Cougars fell to 58-18 in the all-time series against Rice... Cougars dropped to 24-12 against the Owls on Rice's home court. Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas started his 50th consecutive game, every game of his collegiate career.
Following Wednesday's game, the Cougars meet SMU at 2 p.m., Saturday, inside Moody Coliseum in Dallas. The Cougars enjoyed a 78-67 win earlier this month in Hofheinz Pavilion in the Conference USA opener.
That game will be shown live on Time Warner Cable Sports with Pete Stein and Neal Raphael calling the action.
From there, the Cougars will take a week-long break from competition before returning to action at 1 p.m., Feb. 9, inside Hofheinz Pavilion against Tulane. That game will be shown live on CSS.
In addition, the Tulane game will be the first of three bobblehead doll giveaways. The first 1,000 fans in attendance for the Tulane game will receive a free Michael Young bobblehead doll.
Single-game tickets for all remaining home games and a variety of ticket packs to suit any budget are on sale now. To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by online at UHCougars.com.
Fans can buy tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by clicking the red and white Tickets tab at UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GOUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information or click here.