Dec. 3, 2011
HOUSTON - Junior guard Jonathon Simmons scored a career-high 22 points, and freshman forward TaShawn Thomas finished with his first career double-double to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a resounding 87-66 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Simmons connected on 5-of-7 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from the 3-point arc, for the first 20-point game of his career. The Houston native and Smiley High product almost single-handedly seized control of the game in the first half, scoring 11 consecutive Cougar points as Houston built a 39-24 lead.
With 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, Thomas posted the team's first double-double. The Killeen, Texas, native also added four blocks and a pair of assists in 29 minutes of action.
The Cougars scored 50 points in the first 20 minutes and never looked back. After the Islanders jumped out to an early 4-2 lead, the Cougars used a 13-3 run and never led by fewer than six points the rest of the way.
After Houston built a 50-33 lead heading into the locker room at the break, the two teams traded baskets before the Cougars broke the contest open with a 14-2 run during a 6-minute stretch. The Cougars eventually built as much as a 32-point lead late in the second half.
Houston connected on 46.7 percent of its shots from the field and was a sparkling 8-of-13 from the 3-point line. The Cougars also used a 43-28 rebounding advantage to win for the fifth time in six games against the Islanders.
Thomas and Simmons weren't the only Cougars to have successful nights. Junior forward Leon Gibson came off the bench to pour in a career-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four rebounds in 18 minutes, while redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young added 12 points with a pair of 3-pointers in the win.
Hameed Ali came off the bench to lead Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 15 points, while Terence Jones added 12 points and two treys. Johnathan Jordan added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds in the loss.
The Cougars hit the road when they meet Texas State at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Texas. From there, the team will take a lengthy break to prepare for final examinations.
Houston won't return to action until 7 p.m., Dec. 17, when they meet Oklahoma in Oklahoma City during the 76th Annual All-College Classic. That game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Fans can hear all Cougar Basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes providing analysis. Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the "GameTracker" link at UHCougars.com.
Fans also can watch live video and audio via Cougar All-Access at UHCougars.com. Fans should note that a charge is required to watch and hear streamed games on-line.
Season tickets are now available at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. General admission season tickets begin as low as $135, while reserved seating season tickets start as low as $195.
Families also will enjoy the Family Fun Plan. For only $299, families receive two adult and two youth general admission season tickets. Additional youth season tickets in the Family Fun Plan can be purchased for $75 each.
In the Satisfaction Guaranteed plan, fans who purchase men's season tickets by Nov. 30 and are not satisfied with their game-day experience can return their remaining tickets by Feb. 1 and receive a full refund.
Fans can order their season tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links.