Young, Thomas Propel Men's Basketball Past Chicago State
Dec. 22, 2012
HOUSTON - Sophomore guard Joseph Young poured in a game-high 24 points with five 3-pointers, while sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas added 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the University of Houston Men's Basketball team to a 79-57 win against Chicago State on Saturday afternoon inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Hitting 8-of-17 shots from the field, Young recorded his third straight 20-point game, his fourth this season and the seventh of his career. The Houston native and Yates High product drained half of his 10 3-point attempts and added five rebounds without a turnover in 28 minutes.
Thomas, the Cougars' leading scorer and rebounder entering the game, added his fifth 20-point game of the year and fell just two rebounds shy of posting his team-leading sixth double-double. The Killeen, Texas, native enjoyed a stellar shooting touch all day, hitting 7-of-10 shots from the field and all seven tries from the free throw line.
Off from competition for a week, the Cougars looked rusty out of the gate. Chicago State connected two 3-pointers to start the game and held an 18-16 lead when Quinton Pippen drained a jumper at the 9:39 mark. That would be a close as Chicago State would come the rest of the way.
The Cougars scored the game's next 12 points and closed out the first half on a 24-7 run to take a 40-25 lead in to the locker room at the break.
The start of the second half proved to be the Joseph Young show. He scored the Cougars' first 11 points of the half as Houston built a 53-27 lead. The Cougars would never lead by fewer than 18 points the rest of the way during the second meeting between the two teams.
With the win, the Cougars won their fourth straight game and improved to 9-2 this season. The 2012-13 squad became the 18th team in school history to start 9-2 or better through its first 11 games with all but one of those previous teams competing in the postseason.
Chicago State dropped to 3-11 overall and lost for the fifth time in the last six games.
Young and Thomas were the only Cougars to reach double figures in scoring, but several Cougars made key contributions throughout the game. Forward Leon Gibson, the team's lone senior, grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, topping his old mark of 11 boards at Marshall on Feb. 22, 2012.
Freshman center Valentine Izundu scored nine points with two rebounds and three blocked shots in only 10 minutes and ignited the crowd of 3,113 with a pair of thunderous dunks midway through the second half.
Clarke Rosenberg and Jamere Dismukes each posted 16 points to lead Chicago State with Rosenberg's eight rebounds leading the Cougars. Dismukes added a team-high three assists, while Jeremy Robinson finished with a pair of blocks.
Houston improved to 6-1 inside the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion this season... Only a 70-58 loss to Texas A&M on Dec. 1 prevents a perfect home record in 2012-13.
Saturday's game was the first meeting against Chicago State since a 71-65 overtime win on Dec. 23, 2003.
Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas made the 41st consecutive start of his collegiate career... He has started every game of his career.
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Following Saturday's game, the Cougars continue their season-long homestand when they play host to Prairie View A&M at 3 p.m., Dec. 29. Houston will have revenge on its mind after the Panthers escaped with an 81-80 win on Nov. 29 in Prairie View to end the Cougars' season-opening five-game winning streak.
From there, the stand continues against Texas-Pan American (7 p.m., Jan. 3) and Conference USA-rival SMU (7 p.m., Jan. 9).