Jan. 3, 2009
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State used early runs in both halves and hot shooting to take an 82-65 win over the University of Houston men's basketball team Saturday inside Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the game's first four minutes and then used a 20-4 run to open the second half to break open a close game on the way to the win.
MSU connected on 46.2 percent of its shots in the game, including 48.5 percent in the first 20 minutes, while limiting the Cougars to a season-low 27.6 percent from the field. The Bulldogs converted short-range and long-range shots, finishing with 11 3-pointers, including seven in the first half alone.
Although the Bulldogs jumped out to a fast start, the Cougars rallied back and took their lone lead on Aubrey Coleman's free throw with 13:17 remaining. The two teams battled back and forth, and the Cougars pulled to within 23-22 when Coleman converted a pair of free throws with 9:28 left in the first half.
However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. MSU scored the game's next 10 points and never trailed again.
After building a 43-31 lead at the halftime break, the Bulldogs continued their hot shooting, scoring 20 of the second half's first 24 points for a 63-35 lead.
For the third time in the last four games, Coleman recorded a double-double, finishing with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Junior guard Kelvin Lewis led the Cougars with 16 points, while junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun continued his recent solid play, posting 15 points with seven rebounds.
Phil Turner led MSU with 16 points, while guard Ravern Johnson added 14 points. Romero Osby chipped in with 13 points as 10 different Bulldogs scored in the game, while Jarvis Varnado led MSU with eight rebounds despite playing only 16 minutes due to an ankle injury suffered in the first half.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 8-3 overall. Mississippi State improved to 9-5 and won for the first time in six games against the Cougars during the series' all-time history. Saturday's game was the first time the two teams met on the hardwood since a 68-62 Cougar since the 1983-84 season.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday when they play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi inside Hofheinz Pavilion. That will be the first of two home games next week with Conference USA-rival UAB visiting Houston for a 7 p.m., game Saturday.
Fans can hear both games live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Willis Wilson providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off each day.