Jan. 13, 2010
HOUSTON - Senior guard Kelvin Lewis and junior forward Maurice McNeil each posted double-doubles to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 75-65 win against Conference USA-rival UTEP on Wednesday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Lewis posted 13 points, including three 3-pointers, with a career-high 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career. McNeil added 12 points with 10 boards for his third double-double of the season.
Senior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added six rebounds and three assists. With his point total, the Houston native moved past 1,000 points during his Houston career, becoming the 43rd player in school history to reach that milestone.
In a series marked by close and intense games, the Cougars earned the 10-point victory with steady shooting, especially from long range. The Cougars converted 11 of their 20 3-point attempts while holding UTEP to only 3-of-16 shooting from behind the arc.
The Cougars also took advantage of their chances from the charity stripe, nailing 18-of-24 free throw attempts, and were the beneficiary of 12-of-22 shooting by the Miners from the line.
It was the first double-digit win by either team in the previous 10 games and was the biggest win since an 88-61 UTEP victory on Dec. 8, 2003.
The game started fast and furious with both teams exchanging shots. After falling behind 4-0 quickly, the Cougars regrouped and claimed a 12-9 lead with four different players each hitting their first 3-point attempt of the night.
Clinging to a 12-11 lead with 15:22 in the first half, the Cougars used a 10-3 run to build a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. After the Miners pulled to within 28-21 late in the first half, the Cougars closed out the opening period with a 9-0 run to take a 37-24 advantage into the locker room at the break.
In the second half, UTEP scored the first eight points and pulled to within 37-32 on Arnett Moultrie's jumper at the 17:18 mark. However, the Cougars took advantage of 3-pointers from freshman forward Kirk Van Slyke and Lewis to rebuild a double-digit cushion.
The Miners continued to chip away at the Cougar lead and moved to within 49-45 when Derrick Caracter hit a jumper at the 12:13 mark. But Houston erupted on a 13-4 run during the next 4:32 to assemble a 61-47 lead with 7:41 left in the game.
UTEP would not pull within seven points the rest of the way.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in C-USA games. UTEP dropped to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in C-USA games.
Moultrie was one of three Miners who reached double digits in points, posting 15 points with a game-high 13 rebounds. Caracter added 10 points, while Julyan Stone posted 13 points with a game-high six assists.
The Cougars hit the road to face Conference USA-rival East Carolina at 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. (EST), Saturday at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C.
Fans can hear Saturday's game live on NewsRadio KTRH 740 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 5:45 p.m. (CST)6:45 p.m. (EST), Saturday.
Fans should note that this is a departure from the Cougars' regular broadcast home due to the NFL playoffs.
The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Conference USA-rival UCF at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Fans can purchase basketball tickets on-line at UHCougars.com by clicking the Tickets link, by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Single-game tickets and a variety of packages also are available now and can be purchased for as low as $35.
* Houston improved to 7-9 (.438) in the all-time series against UTEP... The Cougars also improved to 5-1 (.833) against UTEP in Houston.
* With Wednesday's game, head coach Tom Penders broke out of a with Adolph Rupp (Kentucky, 1931-52, 54-72) for 15th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,067 career games coached... Up next in the NCAA records book is Don Haskins, who coached 1,072 games at UTEP from 1962 to 1999.
* With Wednesday's win, head coach Tom Penders broke out of a tie with Marv Harshmann (637 wins, Pacific Lutheran, Washington State, Washington, 1946-85) and moved into soles possession of 26th place in NCAA Division I career history with 638 wins... Up next in the NCAA records book is Billy Tubbs, who collected 641 wins at Southwestern, Oklahoma, TCU and Lamar from 1972 to 2006.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 13th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 29th 20-point game of his career.
* With 13 points, senior guard Kelvin Lewis moved into 24th place in Houston career history with 1,200 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Ollie Taylor, who scored 1,231 points from 1968-70.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 79th consecutive game and made his 52nd straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.