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Houston Cougars blast Grambling 87-47

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POSTED: November 17, 2012 -- 11:45 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Hofheinz Pavilion) -- The Houston Cougars cranked up the offense and the defense Saturday night and blasted the Grambling State Tigers 87-47 in front of an announced crowd of 3,178 fans.

Grambling State led 4-3; but, Cougars guard Brandon Morris stole the ball and scored a layup to give the Cougars a 5-4 to lead. The Coogs never trailed the rest of the ball game.

Morris' steal was the first of four consecutive steals (two by Morris and two by teammate J.J. Thompson) by the Cougars which resulted in a 7-0 run.

Joseph Young came off the bench and scored 12 points in an eight minute stretch. Young's 12 points were one point more than the Tigers as the Cougars owned a 31-11 lead at the 7:36 mark of the first half.

Young scored a game-high 23 points in just 21 minutes. Young shot 6 of 10 from the field, including 3 for 4 from the Land of Three, and a perfect 8 for 8 from the foul line.

"The guys did a great job of setting the tone early," Young said after the game."When I came in the tempo of the game was great. TaShawn (Thomas) did a great job of feeding me the ball. Mix that with great defense, and we were able to get the win.”

The Cougars (3-0) shot 51.7% (15 for 29) from the floor in the first half and led Grambling State (0-4) 46-22 at halftime. The Cougars picked up seven steals and forced the Tigers into 12 first half turnovers.

The Cougars scored 20 of the first 24 points in the second half to lead by 40 points (66-26) with 11:22 remaining in the rout.

Despite a few ragged minutes in the second half, Cougars' head coach James Dickey was pleased with his team's focus throughout the ball game.

"Our awareness was much better," Coach Dickey said. "We went throught a stretch there where I did something unusual: I wholesale substituted simply because we gave up two offensive rebounds, and defensive board play has been a high goal of ours. I just wanted to get the guys attention. We went through a stretch where we were a little bit soft, and they threw in a couple of threes; but, for the most part, I was pleased with our guys."

The Cougars shot 46.3% (31 for 67) from the field overall; but, they shot 43.8% (7 for 16) from three-point range. The Coogs went to the free throw line 29 times; but, they made only 18 (62.1%). The Cougars won the boards battle 45-30.

The Cougars next game is home Monday night versus Louisiana College. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

CLICK HERE for news and info about the Coogs' men's basketball team.

CLICK HERE for The HRR's write-ups of Coogs' men's hoops games.

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