Men's Basketball Falls Short at UTEP on Wednesday
Feb. 3, 2010
Coleman, who entered the game as the national scoring leader, connected on 9-of-27 shots from the field and buried all four attempts from the free throw line for his ninth consecutive game with at least 20 points. However, the Houston native saw his streak of consecutive 30-point games end at three.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 11-10 overall and 4-4 in league games. UTEP improved to 16-5 overall and 7-1 in C-USA games. The Miners also split the regular-season series against the Cougars, who enjoyed a 75-65 win against UTEP on Jan. 13 at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.
The game started well for the Cougars, who jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 106 seconds and eventually built a 28-24 advantage with 6:26 remaining in the first half.
However, the Miners - playing in front of a season-high 10,595 fans - used a 12-2 run to end the first half and pulled to within 30-26 at the halftime break.
In the second half, the two teams traded punches early, but the Cougars eventually claimed a 38-32 on junior forward Maurice McNeil's jumper with 16:19 left in the game. UTEP then erupted on a 15-3 run during the next 7:10 and built a 47-41 lead on a pair of free throws from Julyan Stone.
The Cougars rallied and pulled to within 55-54 when Coleman nailed his lone 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the game. It was Coleman's ninth straight point for the Cougars during a 3:11 stretch.
UTEP forward Derrick Caracter answered with a jumper just 27 seconds later and, following a Cougar missed shot, Julyan Stone rebounded a missed layup to give the Miners a 59-54 lead with 2:31 to go. The Cougars would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.
Senior guard Kelvin Lewis scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds with three assists, while McNeil led the Cougars with nine rebounds.
After hitting only 39.1 percent from the field in the first half, the Miners rebounded to hit half of their 30 shots during the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Cougars were held to 35.0 percent from the field in the game, including 31.0 percent in the second half.
Caracter proved to be a challenge for the Cougar frontcourt all night, posting 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 13 rebounds to lead the Miners in both categories. Jeremy Williams added 12 points, while Christian Polk came off the bench to finish with 11 points.
Fans also can watch the game live on CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129) with Matt Stewart calling the play-by-play action and Brian Oliver providing analysis.
Single-game tickets and a variety of packages also are available now and can be purchased for as low as $35.
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, Feb. 4, from Bubba's Sports Bar & Grill (6225 Washington).
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.