Nov. 5, 2013
HOUSTON - University of Houston junior forward TaShawn Thomas poured in 20 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Cougars to an 81-63 exhibition win against St. Thomas on Tuesday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Thomas, who was a Preseason American Athletic Conference Second-Team honoree, led four Cougars in double digits during their first step of the 2013-14 season. Sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers finished with 14 points, including four treys, while senior guard Brandon Morris came off the bench to post 11 points, including three treys.
Sophomore guard Danuel House, who was the 2013 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, posted 10 points with three rebounds, while sophomore guard L.J. Rose - who was making his Houston debut - dished out a game-high nine assists with three rebounds in the win.
Houston overcame a sluggish start and eventually built a 36-30 lead by halftime. In the second half, the Cougars roared out of the locker room on an 11-4 run to build a 47-34 advantage and eventually compiled a 19-point lead late in the second half.
"We were a little lethargic. We were a little tentative early. The guys kind of played like I felt," said fourth-year head coach James Dickey, who was sidelined at home for most of the day with flu-like symptoms. "We had a good second half. We jammed the ball inside, which we should have been doing in the first half, and our defense got better as the game went on."
St. Thomas guards Sean Edwards and Deric Dudley posted 15 points apiece to lead the Celts. Forward Bryan Kaase added 12 points with Dudley's seven rebounds leading St. Thomas.
The Cougars officially open their 69th season of basketball when they play host to Texas State at 8 p.m., Friday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. That game can be heard live on 950 AM KPRC with Matt Thomas calling the play-by-play action and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis.
The game can be seen live on ESPN3 with Brett Dolan calling the game and Daymeon Fishback providing analysis.
Friday's game also will be part of a doubleheader with the Houston women's basketball team, which plays host to Mississippi State at 5:30 p.m., Friday.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $195, while Reserved season tickets start at only $280. Families can purchase the Memorial Hermann Family Fun Plan of two adult and two youth General Admission tickets for only $399.
Fans also can purchase season tickets by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) 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.
Fans should remember that purchasing Men's Basketball season tickets will help their standing in the Cougar Pride Priority Point System, which determines seating priority in the new Houston Football Stadium when it opens in August 2014.
Fans receive two Priority Points per sport per account when purchasing Men's Basketball season tickets, and every Priority Point improves each fan's ranking in the System.