Jan. 28, 2009
HOUSTON - UTEP used a 22-2 run to start the second half and turned a nine-point deficit at halftime into an 11-point advantage they would never relinquish during a 62-55 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Wednesday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Trailing by as much as 13, the Cougars used a 10-0 run of their own midway through the second half and cut the deficit to one at 56-55 when senior guard DaShaun Williams stole a pass and scored on a layup with 4:46 remaining in the game.
However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. UTEP scored the game's final six points, including four from the free throw line, in the final 4:16 to ice the win and hand the Cougars their second straight loss.
After hitting nearly 50 percent of their shots from the field in the opening 20 minutes, the Cougars managed to hit only 7-of-28 shots in the second half. Meanwhile, the Miners connected on 43.3 percent from the field to outscore the Cougars by 16 in the second half.
UH appeared to have seized the momentum in the first half, building a 25-12 lead at the 8:07 mark of the opening period. Although the Miners cut that lead down to 31-25 on Stefon Jackson's jumper with 1:38 remaining, junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun's buried a 3-pointer only 13 seconds later gave the Cougars a 34-25 advantage heading into the locker room.
Senior center Marcus Cousin led the Cougars with 15 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds, while Williams added 13 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Kelvin Lewis finished with 10 points, and freshman point guard Desmond Wade added 10 points and a team-high five assists and five steals in the loss.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 12-6 overall and 3-2 in C-USA games. UTEP improved to 12-8 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Miners also earned their first win in Houston, snapping a four-game losing streak there.
Ironically, the Cougars snapped a seven-game losing streak in El Paso on Jan. 14 with a 94-86 win.
UTEP forward Arnett Moultrie posted game highs of 19 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Miners, while guard Randy Culpepper came off the bench to score 13 points. Jackson also finished with 12 points in the win.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to action at noon, Saturday when they meet Conference USA rival No. 18/19 Memphis in Memphis, Tenn. Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off each day.
Fans also can follow live stats of the game by clicking the GameTracker link or watch the game's video stream at UHCougars.com.
NEXT HOME GAME FOR HOUSTON
After meeting C-USA rival UCF on Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., the Cougars return home to play host to Conference USA- and crosstown-rival Rice at 8 p.m., Feb. 7, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Fans can purchase their tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS or by stopping by the Athletics Ticket Office in the Athletics/Alumni Center during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Fans always can purchase tickets by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking on the Tickets links.