Jan. 16, 2008
DALLAS --The University of Houston men's basketball team opened its Conference USA schedule in impressive fashion as the Cougars scored 31 points off of SMU's 20 turnovers en route to a 99-71 victory at Moody Coliseum Wednesday night.
Houston took control of the game early as the McKiver and Lewis each nailed a pair of three-point baskets to open up a 12-5 lead. Then, Tafari Toney, who finished with 10 points, added a lay-up and two free throws after grabbing a pair of offensive rebounds on Houston's next two possessions.
Houston head coach Tom Penders put in five new players and Houston turned up the pressure on its defensive end. The result was 12 players appeared in the game and the Cougars scored 13 points off of 12 SMU turnovers and added 11 second-chance points to open up a 45-31 lead at halftime.
Dowell, who finished the game hitting 9 of his 12 shots from the field, scored 10 points in the second half, while Lewis and McKiver added eight points each in the second half to help Houston finish with a season-high 99 points.
The win improves Houston's record to 12-3 overall and came after the Cougars had closed their non-conference schedule with back-to-back losses against Massachusetts and Arizona. The win also evened Houston's record in road games to 1-1 and gave the Cougars a 1-0 record in Conference USA games.
Papa Dia led SMU (6-9, 0-2) with 21 points. Alex Malone added 15. Bamba Fall scored 13 and had 10 rebounds. Ryan Harp scored 12.
The Cougars return home to play host to UTEP in a Conference USA game this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on the Guy Lewis Court at Hofheinz Pavilion.