Aubrey Coleman finished with 30 points and 9 rebounds. (File Photo)
Jan. 20, 2010
HOUSTON - Senior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a game-high 30 points with a team-high nine rebounds, but it would not be enough as UCF claimed a 78-71 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Wednesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Coleman, who recorded the seventh 30-point game of his career, shot only 7of-18 from the field but was solid from the free throw line, nailing 16-of-18 attempts. The Houston native also added two assists and two steals in the loss.
The Cougars struggled from the field all night and were unable to overcome an early UCF lead. The Knights raced out to a 24-9 lead with 6:34 remaining in the first half and never led by fewer than seven points the rest of the way.
Houston failed to shoot higher than 27 percent in each half, while the Knights connected on 50.9 percent (27-of-53) from the field. A steady defensive effort that forced 15 steals and 24 UCF turnovers and a 32-of-42 team performance from the free throw line kept the Cougars in the game but was not quite enough.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 10-8 overall and 3-2. UCF improved to 10-8 overall and 2-2 in C-USA games and snapped a four-game losing streak against Houston.
Despite being held to 26.9 percent from the field during the game's first 20 minutes, the Cougars managed to make a game of it and closed the gap to 34-23 by halftime.
In the second half, the Knights pushed their lead back to 38-23 on free throws from Dave Diakite with 18:57 remaining, but the Cougars used a 15-7 run during the next seven minutes to trim the UCF lead to 45-38 on a Kelvin Lewis' free throw.
However, the Knights erupted on an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to build a 56-40 advantage.
UCF continued to build its lead and appeared to seize control of the game when Marcus Jordan's layup with 4:29 to go gave UCF a 66-46 lead. The Cougars had one last rally in them, outscoring the Knights 13-2 during the next 107 seconds to pull to within 68-59 on Coleman's old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:42 to go.
That would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. The Cougars continued to score from the field but the Knights answered with points of their own each time to take the win.
Lewis scored 14 points with a pair of 3-pointers, while junior forward Maurice McNeil came off the bench to tally 10 points and nine rebounds.
UCF guard Marcus Jordan, son of legendary NBA star Michael Jordan, led the Knights with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting, while guard A.J. Tyler added 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Diakite finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, and guard A.J. Rompza posted 10 points with five assists to pace the Knights.
The Cougars hit the road again to face C-USA rival Memphis at 7 p.m., Saturday, at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. That game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Terry Gannon calling the play-by-play action and Stephen Bardo serving as analyst.
The Cougars then enjoy a week off from competitive action before facing C-USA rival Marshall at 5 p.m., Jan. 30, at Hofheinz Pavilion. That game will be part of a doubleheader with the women's basketball team which plays host to league foe SMU at 1 p.m., Jan. 30.
Fans can purchase men's basketball tickets online 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 fell to 7-3 (.700) in the all-time series against UCF... The Cougars also fell to 3-2 (.600) against UCF at Hofheinz Pavilion.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 15th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 31st 20-point game of his career.
* With 30 points, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into 36th place in Houston career history with 1,075 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Derrick Daniels, who scored 1,087 points from 1988-92.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 81st consecutive game and made his 54th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.