Nov. 6, 2012
HOUSTON - Six University of Houston Men's Basketball players scored in double digits - with senior forward Leon Gibson's 23 points leading the way - in a 108-55 win against Concordia on Tuesday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Gibson, who is the team's lone senior on the 2012-13 squad, connected on 9-of-11 shots from the field and grabbed four rebounds with a pair of blocked shots in Houston's only exhibition contest of the season. Making his collegiate debut, freshman forward - and Hightower High product - Danuel House added 13 points with four rebounds and four assists, while junior college transfer Brandon Morris added 13 points with game highs of three 3-pointers and seven assists in the win.
Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas posted 12 points and fell just a rebound shy of a double-double while adding six assists, two blocked shots and two steals without a turnover in 22 minutes.
However, some of the biggest cheers of the night came for freshman center and Lamar Consolidated High product Valentine Izundu, who finished with 12 second-half points, including his final eight during a 69-second stretch late in the game.
Houston jumped out to a 27-12 lead midway through the first half and never led by fewer than double digits the rest of the way. The Cougars eventually built as much as a 58-point advantage late in the game.
The Cougars enjoyed tremendous success in all areas of the game to take their second straight exhibition win against the Tornados. A year ago, Houston claimed a 118-70 win against the Tornados.
Houston connected on 65.7 percent of its shots in the first half, including a blistering 71.1 percent in the second half. The Cougars drained half of their 12 3-point attempts with Morris posting three treys and redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers adding a pair in his collegiate debut.
The Cougars forced the Tornados into 29 turnovers and dished out 29 assists.
Concordia forward Dwayne Patterson led the Tornados with 13 points with five other players adding five points apiece.
The Cougars open their regular season at noon, Friday, when they play host to Florida A&M inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be the first time that the Cougars have faced the Rattlers on the basketball court.
Fans should note the early starting time for Friday's season opener due to the Athletics Hall of Honor Gala later that evening. The Cougars' basketball game will be the start of many exciting activities during Homecoming weekend for the University.
For those fans looking to get an early start on the weekend, all public tickets for Friday's game will be sold for only $5. For only $5 more, fans at Friday's game can receive lunch, which includes a hot dog, chips and a drink.
The Houston Football program plays host to Conference USA-rival Tulsa at 4 p.m., Saturday, on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.
ON THE AIR
Fans can hear the game live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Frankin providing the play-by-play action and Houston legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 11:45 a.m., Friday.
Fans can see the see and hear the audio/video streams live at UHCougars.com by clicking the All-Access tab and following the appropriate links to sign up for Cougar All-Access or by clicking here. A charge is required to hear games via Cougar All-Access.
Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link or by clicking here.
Single-game tickets for the month of November and a variety of ticket packs are now on sale inside 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.