Simmons Records Third Straight 20-Point Game to Lead Men's Basketball

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1 2 F
Houston (4-5) 37 37 74
Oklahoma (8-1) 40 39 79

Quick Stats UH OU
Points 74 79
Rebounds 37 40
Assists 14 13
Turnovers 13 9
Field Goals 30-68 27-64
Free Throws 5-7 19-24
3-Point Field Goals 9-25 6-10
Fouls 21 12
Statistical Leaders
Houston Points Rebounds Assists
Jonathon Simmons 20 3 3
Darian Thibodeaux 10 6 3
Joseph Young 10 5 1
Oklahoma Points Rebounds Assists
Steven Pledger 31 10 0
Cameron Clark 14 2 0
Andrew Fitzgerald 10 6 2

OKLAHOMA CITY - Junior guard Jonathon Simmons recorded his third straight 20-point game, but it would not be enough as the University of Houston men's basketball team dropped a 79-74 decision to Oklahoma during the first game of the RAMADA All-College Classic.

Simmons finished the night with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting with two 3-pointers. He previously scored 22 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 3 and posted a career-high 26 points at Texas State on Dec. 6.

With his performance, the Houston native and Smiley High product moved closer to the team lead in scoring and is now averaging 14.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Alandise Harris tops the Cougars with 14.9 points per contest.

Trailing 40-37 at halftime, the Cougars roared out of the locker room. After trading baskets with the Sooners to start the final period, Houston used a 14-2 run during a 3:31 stretch and built a 53-44 lead when freshman forward TaShawn Thomas grabbed an offensive board and laid it up and in.

The Sooners answered with a long rally of their own, outscoring the Cougars 11-2 during the next four-and-a-half minutes to tie the game at 55-55 on a pair of free throws from Sam Grooms.

The two teams went back and forth from there with neither squad able to build more than a 5-point lead. After the Cougars grabbed a 67-65 lead on Simmons' layup, Oklahoma grabbed the lead for good on Steven Pledger's 3-pointer and pushed their advantage to three points on Andrew Fitzgerald's layup with 3:31 remaining.

Houston pulled to within 70-69 on Harris' layup, but that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. Oklahoma closed the game on a 9-2 run that was snapped by senior guard Darian Thibodeaux's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

This was the Cougars' first action since meeting Texas State on Dec. 6 in San Marcos, Texas. Houston originally had a home game scheduled for Dec. 10 against UTSA, but that contest was pushed back to Dec. 20 at the request of UTSA administrators due to its final examinations.

With the loss, the Cougars fell to 4-5 with those five setbacks coming by a combined 12 points. Oklahoma improved to 8-1.

Thibodeaux and redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young each posted 10 points for the Cougars, while Thomas added six points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Pledger led all players with 31 points and recorded his first career double-double with 10 rebounds. Cameron Clark added 14 points, while Fitzgerald and Grooms each finished with 10 points.

The Cougars begin a season-long five-game homestand when they play host to UTSA at 7 p.m., Tuesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans should note that that game was postponed on request from UTSA administrators from Dec. 10 to accommodate the school's final examinations schedule.

There will be no rest for the weary as the Cougars meet Rogers State one night later at 7 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The homestand continues against North Carolina A&T (Dec. 28), Texas State (Dec. 30) and Tulsa (Jan. 4).

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.

Single-game tickets are now on sale at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. In addition, fans also can purchase the Conference USA Pack, which includes eight exciting league games.

In the C-USA Pack, fans can buy Reserved seating to all Saturday men's home games for $99 with General Admission tickets available for only $75.

With the purchase of the Family Fun Plan, fans receive 2 adult and 2 youth general admission tickets to all Saturday C-USA games for only $159. Tickets for additional children are available for only $40 each in this Plan.

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.



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