HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team jumped out to a 25-4 lead halfway through the first half and never looked back in taking an impressive 94-71 win against Texas State on Friday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars scored the first eight and 18 of the game's first 20 points to build a lead they would never relinquish. In the second half, Texas State trimmed the deficit to 51-46 when Matt Staff hit a pair of free throws with 15:19 remaining.
However, Houston erupted on a 19-4 run during the next 5:15 and eventually built as much as a 35-point late in the game.
The Cougars used hot shooting and their most dominating rebounding performance of the season to record the program's most points under second-year head coach James Dickey and the most since a 105-81 home win against TCU on Dec. 23, 2010.
After hitting nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Cougars blistered the nets at a 59.4 percent clip (19-of-32) during the second period and finished at 53.8 percent (35-of-65) for the game. Houston was particularly hot from long range, connecting on 11-of-18 attempts from the 3-point line with three players recording at least three treys.
On the glass, Houston more than doubled the Bobcats total at 52-25. Freshman forward TaShawn Thomas led all players with a career-high 16 rebounds, including six offensive, and added a personal-best 16 points for his team-leading third double-double of the season. The Killeen, Texas, native flirted with his first career triple-double, blocking five Bobcat shots.
Redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting and tied his season high with four 3-pointers in the win. Sophomore forward Alandise Harris added 17 points with five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots, while junior guard Jonathon Simmons added 15 points with nine rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Darian Thibodeaux, making his 43rd consecutive start, added 11 points with five rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocked shots.
With the win, the Cougars recorded their fourth straight win and their fifth consecutive home win. The Cougars also avenged a loss to the Bobcats in San Marcos, Texas, earlier this season.
Houston improved to 8-5, while Texas State lost for the fourth time in the last five games and fell to 7-6.
Staff led Texas State with 16 points, while Reid Koenen added 12 points. Brooks Ybarra finished with 11 points and tied with staff for the team lead with five rebounds, while Eddie Rios came off the bench to score 10 points.
The Cougars wrap up their homestand when they open Conference USA play against league-rival Tulsa on 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. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tipoff.
Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the "GameTracker" link at UHCougars.com.
Fans also can watch live video and hear live 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.