Feb. 3, 2010
EL PASO, Texas - Senior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with 23 points while playing all 40 minutes, but it would not be quite enough as UTEP claimed a 65-58 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team on Wednesday inside the Don Haskins Center.
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.
The Cougars return to action at 5 p.m., Saturday, when they meet C-USA rival Southern Miss at Hofheinz Pavilion. That game can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 4:45 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
* With Wednesday's game, head coach Tom Penders moved into a tie for 15th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,072 games coached... Ironically, Penders moved into a tie with former UTEP head coach Don Haskins, who led the Miners from 1962 to 1999.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 18th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 34th 20-point game of his career... It also was his ninth straight 20-point game in 2009-10.
* With 23 points, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into 26th place in Houston career history with 1,167 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Ted Luckenbill, who scored 1,195 points from 1958 to 1961.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman played every minute in a game for the second time this season and the seventh time during his career.
* Junior forward Maurice McNeil played every minute in a game for the second time this season... He equaled the mark he set at Iowa State on Jan. 3.
* With 16 points, senior guard Kelvin Lewis moved into 20th place in Houston career history with 1,258 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Tim Moore, who scored 1,298 points from 1993 to 1996.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 84th consecutive game and made his 57th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.