Men's Basketball

Young sparks Cougars for fourth straight win

Freshman guard Joseph Young led UH with 25 points in its 94-71 win over Texas State. Young is averaging 20 points over the Cougars last three games. UH will open Conference USA play against Tulsa at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion. | Joshua Siegel/The Daily Cougar

Breaking the trend that they have established this season, the Cougars didn’t make the fans at Hofheinz Pavilion sweat it out, starting fast and finishing with a 94-71 win over Texas State.

“I was really pleased with the way our team prepared,” head coach James Dickey said. “They came out with great energy and intensity. We did a great job early defensively.”

The Cougars (8-5) opened with a 22-4 run and exploded for 52 second-half points to close out the Bobcats (7-6). Five Cougars finished in double figures, led by 25 points from new sixth man Joseph Young. Since being held scoreless in the Cougars’ 77-75 win over UTSA, Young is averaging 20 points in UH’s last three games.

“Joe is just starting to play terrific. He’s getting his confidence back,” Dickey said.

The Cougars have struggled on the glass all season, but managed to out-rebound the Bobcats 52-25, hauling in 25 offensive boards and and turning those into 27 second-chance points.

Freshman TaShawn Thomas led the way for the Cougars with 16 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for his third double-double of the season.

“We got more rebounds, and I felt like I could help out. I started the game with that in mind,” Thomas said.

The Cougars lead grew slim by halftime with Bobcats trailing 42-35, but a 59-percent-shooting performance in the second half, including 5-7 from deep, helped UH pull away. For the game, UH connected on 11-18 three-point attempts, led by Young’s 4-7. Guards Darian Thibodeaux (11 points, five rebounds, two blocks) and Jonathan Simmons (15 points, nine rebounds) also chipped in with three 3-pointers.

With the win, the Cougars extended their win streak to four, and will open Conference USA play against Tulsa at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

“No one wants to go into conference with a loss,” Young said.

“We came out, played our four games, and won. Like Coach Dickey said, we finished the first part of our season; now it’s time for the second.”

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