Nov. 17, 2013
HOUSTON - Trailing by a point with just more than four minutes remaining, the University of Houston Men's Basketball program closed out the game on a 17-2 run to take an 80-66 victory against Lehigh during Game One of the Progressive Legends Classic inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The game went back and forth in the second half before the Cougars took control of the contest late. Houston jumped out to a 37-28 lead at halftime after connecting on 53.1 percent of their shots from the field and limiting the Mountain Hawks to only 39.4 percent.
However, Lehigh took advantage of a sluggish start by the Cougars to open the second half and used a 10-1 run midway through the final period to take a 58-54 lead on Mackey McKnight's jumper with 7:41 remaining.
Houston scored nine of the next 10 points to build a 63-59 lead, but Lehigh answered with a 3-pointer from Jesse Chuku and a dunk from Austin Price for a 64-63 lead with 4:07 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, the Cougars worked the shot clock down to one second before sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers buried his lone 3-pointer of the night to give the Cougars the lead for good.
After a block from junior forward TaShawn Thomas on Lehigh's ensuing possession, sophomore point guard L.J. Rose drained his lone trey of the contest. The Houston native and son of UH great Lynden Rose followed with an old-fashioned 3-point play and drained two more free throws with 47 seconds left for a 10-point Houston cushion.
Only a pair of free throws from Mackey during the final 36 seconds prevented the Cougars from tossing the shutout in the final 4:07 during the second all-time meeting between the two schools.
Houston sophomore guard Danuel House led all players with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting and added five rebounds with two blocks and two steals.
Thomas posted 18 points with 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and the 27th of his career and moved higher in Houston's career scoring list. The Killeen, Texas native needs only 47 points to become the 43rd player in school history to reach 1,000 points during his career.
Rose added 18 points of his own on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 afternoon from the free throw line. He also dished out team-high six assists with only one turnover in 33 minutes.
McKnight led Lehigh with 14 points, while Price added 12 points in the loss. Tim Kempton recorded 11 points, and Conroy Baltimore tied with Thomas for game-high honors with 13 rebounds.
The Cougars continue play in the Progressive Legends Classic at 7 p.m., Thursday, when they face Howard for the first time in school history inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., where it will compete in the Progressive Legends Classic Championship Rounds inside the Barclays Center. Houston faces Stanford at 8:30 p.m. (CST), Nov. 25 and closes out the tournament vs. Texas Tech or Pittsburgh on Nov. 26.
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.
Mini-plans also are on sale now. In the Conference Mini-Plan, fans can buy tickets to all nine American Athletic Conference home games, including defending national champion Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis and UConn, with General Admission seating starting at $120 and Reserved Seating selling for $165.
With the 6-Pack, fans receive tickets for all four weekend home conference games against Rutgers, SMU, Temple and UCF, the Feb. 5 showdown against Louisville and a choice of the UConn, Cincinnati or Memphis games with General Admission seating for only $80 and Reserved Seating for $110.
Fans can purchase season tickets or mini-plans 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.