Strong Second Half Pushes Memphis Past Men's Basketball

Jan. 23, 2010

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Senior guard Aubrey Coleman finished with a game-high 32 points, but a strong second half lifted Memphis to a 92-77 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Saturday night at FedExForum.

Coleman, who entered the game as the national leader in both scoring and steals, recorded his fifth 30-point game in 2009-10 on 12-of-21 shooting with four rebounds, an assist and a steal. It also was the eighth 30-point game of his collegiate career.

Memphis jumped out to an early lead, but the Cougars used a pair of runs to tighten the game in the first half. After the Tigers claimed a 23-13 advantage, Houston went on a 10-2 run during a 3-minute run to pull to within 25-23 with 6:31 remaining in the first half.

Coleman scored all 10 points during that stretch and posted 12 consecutive points for the Cougars at one stretch.

The Tigers regained some momentum and built that lead back to 31-26, but an 8-0 run capped by Coleman's field goal at the 2:21 mark handed the Cougars a 34-31 lead.

The two teams went back and forth from there before both squads headed to the locker room with a 39-39 tie at halftime. However, that would be as close as Houston would get the rest of the way.

The Tigers exploded out of the locker room on a 20-4 run during the first seven minutes for a 59-43 lead. Memphis would enjoy a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.

After hitting 55 percent of their shots in the first half, the Tigers missed only seven of their 22 second-half shots and connected on 61.2 percent (30-of-49) in the game.

Freshman forward Kendrick Washington posted a pair of career highs with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in 30 minutes, junior guard Zamal Nixon came off the bench to add 10 points. Junior forward Maurice McNeil added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his team-leading fifth double-double of the season.

With the loss, the Cougars fell to 10-9 overall and 3-3 in league games. Memphis improved to 14-5 overall and 4-1 in C-USA games. The Cougars also dropped their 11th straight games to the Tigers dating back to the 2004-05 season.

Guards Roburt Sallie and Wesley Witherspoon led Memphis with 20 points apiece and were a pair of five Tigers to reach double digits. Doneal Mack added 17 points, while Willie Kemp came off the bench to post 11 points. Elliot Williams also added 10 points in the win.

The Cougars enjoy a week off from competitive action before facing C-USA rival Marshall at 5 p.m., Saturday, 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 2 p.m., Jan. 30.

Fans should note that the starting time for the women's game on Jan. 30 recently was pushed back.

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.

Fans are invited to each broadcast of The Pulse with Tom Penders from various restaurants throughout Houston.

The radio show airs live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays for the remainder of the season. The next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders will broadcast live on Thursday, Jan. 28, from Chili's Too (4800 Calhoun) on the UH campus.

The show can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com and will be hosted by the "Voice of the Cougars" Tom Franklin.

Fans are invited to join Penders and Franklin at the selected restaurant each week as the duo discusses recent Cougar Basketball action and upcoming games, college basketball, the world of sports and much more.

Fans also can click the "Ask Coach Penders" button on the main page at UHCougars.com to submit a question that could be asked on the show.

* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 16th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 32nd 20-point game of his career.
* With 32 points, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into a tie for 33rd place in Houston career history with 1,107 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Gee Gervin, who scored 1,110 points from 1998 to 2000.
* With five points, senior guard Kelvin Lewis moved into 23rd place in Houston career history with 1,132 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Joe Hamood, who scored 1,237 points from 1963 to 1966.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 82nd consecutive game and made his 55th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.



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