Nov. 13, 2012
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas posted his second straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Joseph Young added a team-high-tying 17 points in his season debut to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 77-75 win against San Jose State inside the Event Center on Tuesday evening.
With the win, Houston improved to 2-0 for the third straight season but only the fourth time since 1998-99. San Jose State dropped to 0-2.
After the Spartans built a 14-10 lead early in the first half, the Cougars used a 23-4 over the next 7:20 to build a lead they would never relinquish. Houston eventually took a 44-26 lead into the locker room at the break.
In the second half, San Jose State began to chip away at the lead, but the Cougars held a 69-56 advantage when Young hit a jumper with just 2:48 left in the game.
San Jose State answered with an 8-0 run to make it close, but the Cougars answered with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch. Sophomore point guard J.J. Thompson, junior guard Brandon Morris, Young and redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers combined to nail 8-of-10 free throws in the final 46 seconds to ice the win.
One game after grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds, Thomas posted a career high with 17 points. The Killeen, Texas, native topped his previous high of 16 points, done three times and most recently at Conference USA-rival UAB on Feb. 1.
Young made his season debut after sitting out the exhibition game and the Cougars' season opener against Florida A&M with a quad injury. The Houston native and Yates High product nailed six of his 11 shots from the field and drained 5-of-6 free throw attempts to go with five rebounds and a pair of assists without a turnover.
Freshman forward Danuel House, who was one of the nation's top recruits, posted a career high 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting with three rebounds and a pair of assists, while junior guard Brandon Morris posted 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers in the first start of his collegiate career.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman center Valentine Izundu also contributed in the frontcourt with two points, four rebounds and a game-high four blocks in only 14 minutes.
San Jose State's D.J. Brown led all players with 24 points, while James Kinney added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Cunningham finished with 15 points and five rebounds before fouling out.
The Cougars return home for a brief homestand inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston will play host to Grambling State at 7 p.m., Saturday, before meeting Louisiana College at 7 p.m., Monday.
Fans can hear both games live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Houston legend Elvin Hayes providing analysis.
Tuesday's game was the first meeting between the two teams in basketball.
Starting backcourt of sophomore point guard J.J. Thompson and junior guard Brandon Morris each posted five assists to lead the Cougars with a combined one turnover between them.
Senior forward Leon Gibson returned to his native California. Hampered by foul trouble, the Los Angeles native finished with two points, a rebound and assist in 10 minutes.
Junior forward J.J. Richardson (foot) and sophomore guard LeRon Barnes (ankle) sat out the game with injuries... Both will be evaluated this week.
Single-game tickets for the month of November and a variety of ticket packs are now on sale inside the Houston Athletics Ticket Office.
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.