Jan. 13, 2007
Robert McKiver scored 25 points to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to an 82-67 victory over SMU in a Conference USA game at Hofheinz Pavilion Saturday afternoon.
McKiver made 9 of his 17 field goal attempts, including 7 of 12 three-point shots to help the Cougars snap a five-game losing streak and improve their record to 6-8 overall and 1-1 in C-USA play.
In addition to McKiver's second straight 20-point performance and sixth 20-point game this season, seniors Oliver Lafayette and Jahmar Thorpe combined for 37 points for Houston. Lafayette registered 21 points for his fourth 20-point performance of the season, but first since he scored 24 points at Saint Louis on Nov. 25.
Thorpe added 16 points for his second-straight game in double figures for the first time this season. He netted 14 points against 19th-ranked Memphis last Thursday night.
But the story of Saturday's game was Houston's improved defensive play as the Cougars scored 21 points of SMU's 21 turnovers in the game. It is the seventh time that Houston has forced 20 turnovers in a game this year.
The Cougars are 5-2 in those games with the only losses coming at 10th-ranked Arizona and against 19th-ranked Memphis last Thursday night.
Houston forced 16 of the turnovers in the first half when the Cougars jumped out to a 39-19 lead at halftime. In fact, the Mustangs had more turnovers than field goal attempts in the opening period.
In the second half, the Mustangs tried to climb back into the game, hitting 55 percent (16-29) from the field, including eight of their 16 three-point tries. But, Houston held on for its first Conference USA win of the season.
SMU lost its second straight C-USA game and fell to 11-5 overall this season.