Robert McKiver scored a careerr-high 33 points to lead Houston to a 101-54 victory over Prairie View A&M.
McKiver, who set a UH record for most three-point field goals with nine, scored 17 of his game-high total in the final 3:54 of the first half to lead Houston on a 30-11 run that gave the Cougars a commanding 45-22 lead at halftime. He ended the opening period with 24 points.
"He is a very unselfish player, and we had to tell him to shoot more because the other guys were really struggling," Houston head coach Tom Penders said. "We ran four straight plays for him during that stretch and he scored on three of them."
Houston picked right up where it left off in the second half as Thorpe scored 10 points on four dunks shots and a pair free throws in the first seven minutes of the second half to help Houston extend its lead to 66-40 with 13 minutes left to play.
"Our guards are very unselfish," Thorpe said. "They were finding me for some wide-open looks, and I was there to finish."
Joining McKiver and Thorpe in double figures were Houston's other three starters, Oliver Lafayette, Tafari Toney and Robert Lee. Lafayette struggled with his shooting much of the first half, but finished with 13 points, while Toney added a career-high of 12 points and Lee chipped in with 11.
"Anytime you play a team that you are supposed to beat, coaches worry about the mental approach of their players and if they are going to take the other team lightly," Penders said. "You want your team to play hard, take care of the basketball and play good defense."
The Cougars did just that as they held Prairie View A&M to 32.3 percent (20-62) shooting from the field and forced the Panthers to commit 21 turnovers. The Cougars also shot a season-high 48.6 percent (36-74) from the field, including a season-best 41.2 percent (14-34) beyond the three point line, and out-rebounded the Panthers, 52-36.
"I thought we accomplished a lot of good things in the game," Penders said. "Some players who had not been playing a lot, got some minutes. It was nice to see Tafari Toney and Nick Mosley combine for 18 points and 17 rebounds at the center position. That is what you are looking for in games like this."
Houston's 101 points marks the second time this season that the Cougars topped the century mark, and it is the first time since 1990-91 that UH has accomplished that feat.
The victory raises Houston's record to 4-1, while Prairie View fell to 1-5 this season. The Cougars will play next at Virginia Commonwealth this Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. (Central) and the game can be heard throughout the Houston area on AM 790 "The Sports Animal".