BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Freshman forward TaShawn Thomas scored 16 points with a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team during an 80-69 loss at Conference USA rival UAB inside Bartow Arena on Wednesday night.
The Killeen, Texas, native recorded his third straight double-double and his sixth double-double of the season. Thomas tied his career-high points total on 8-of-14 shooting and posted his eighth double-digit rebounding game.
The loss spoiled a valiant comeback by the Cougars who trailed by as many as 21 points late in the first half but eventually trimmed that margin to five points midway through the final period.
UAB took advantage of a tremendous first half to build a 50-34 lead and then held off the Cougars the rest of the way. The Blazers connected on 52.8 percent from the field but were 8-of-13 from behind the 3-point line during the first 20 minutes and ended the game with 10 treys.
Houston trailed 48-27 with 3:24 left in the first half and found itself down 58-43 with 16:44 left in the game when Cameron Moore converted an old-fashioned 3-point play. However, the Cougars used a 15-5 run during the next eight minutes and moved to within 63-58 when redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young buried a 3-pointer from the baseline.
Thomas led the way during the rally with six points, while junior guard Jonathon Simmons added four of his team-high-tying 17 points.
Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Cougars would get. Although UAB pushed its lead back to double digits, Houston continued to ball to battle and cut the deficit to six points at two other times before the Blazers answered.
Sophomore forward Alandise Harris tied with Simmons for team-high honors with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and fell just one rebound shy of posting his own double-double. Young came off the bench to post 11 points with a team-high three-3-pointers.
With the loss, Houston dropped to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in C-USA games. UAB improved to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in C-USA games.
Moore, the 2011-12 C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, led all players with 25 points and added 13 rebounds. Ovie Soko posted 15 points with 11 rebounds, while Preston Purifoy added 15 points. Quincy Taylor added 12 points off four 3-pointers and was one of five Blazer players to hit a trey in the game.
The Cougars wrap up their six-day, two-game road swing when they meet Tulane at 7 p.m., Saturday, inside Fogelman Arena in New Orleans.
Fans can hear all Cougar Basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tipoff.
Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the "GameTracker" link at UHCougars.com.
Fans also can hear live audio and watch live video via Cougar All-Access at UHCougars.com. Fans should note that a charge is required to watch and hear streamed games on-line.
Single-game tickets are now on sale at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can purchase their tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links or by clicking the Tickets link here.
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