Junior forward Maurice McNeil
Feb. 6, 2010
HOUSTON - Southern Miss forward Torye Pelham's tip-in of his own miss with no time left on the clock lifted Southern Miss to a stunning 57-55 win against the University of Houston men's basketball Saturday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
With just seconds remaining in the game, USM guard R.L. Horton drove to the basket and attempted a pass that was deflected by a pair of Cougar defenders into Pelham's hands. After his first shot rolled around the rim, Pelham tipped the miss into the basket as the horn went off.
Officials looked at video after the play and determined the tip-in beat the horn, stunning most of the 3,019 fans in attendance.
The loss spoiled a valiant comeback by the Cougars, who scored five straight points in the final 2:19 to knot the game at 55-55. Sai'Quon Stone's free throw with 2:19 remaining gave the Golden Eagles a 55-50 lead, matching their largest advantage of the evening.
With 2:04 remaining, Houston junior guard Adam Brown was fouled and made his first free throw attempt. Although the second attempt was off the mark, junior forward Maurice McNeil stole the rebound away and put up a shot, which Brown rebounded and was fouled again.
Brown missed the first and made the second attempt to pull the Cougars to within 55-52. Following a USM turnover and a pair of missed 3-pointers, McNeil was fouled with 74 seconds to go and hit both free throw attempts to pull the Cougars to within a point at 55-54.
USM forward Gary Flowers missed a jumper with 39 seconds left and on the ensuing possession, Houston sophomore point guard Desmond Wade was hacked with 30 ticks left on the clock. The Linden, N.J., native missed his first attempt but made the second to tie the game at 55-55 and set up USM's final possession.
McNeil led the Cougars with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, for his team-leading sixth double-double of the season. Senior guard Aubrey Coleman also added a game-high points in the loss.
Pelham led USM with 13 rebounds, while Flowers added 15 points and six boards. Horton also posted 11 points with a game-high five assists.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 11-11 overall and 4-5 in league games. Southern Miss improved to 14-8 overall and 4-4 in league games.
The game started well for the Cougars, who raced out to an 11-0 lead in the first six minutes while Southern Miss missed its first 11 shots to start the contest. Behind 40 percent shooting in the first half and a defensive effort that limited USM to only 30 percent, the Cougars took a 29-21 lead into the locker room at the break.
In the second half, Southern Miss enjoyed the quick start, scoring 9 of the half's first 11 points to pull t within 31-30 with 17:38 remaining. The two teams went back and forth from there before the Cougars took a 36-35 lead on a pair of free throws from Coleman with 10:37 to go.
However, Maurice Bolden buried a 3-pointer on the Golden Eagles' next possession and Stone hit two free throws for a 40-36 USM lead. The Golden Eagles would not trail the rest of the way.
The Cougars wrap up their non-conference regular-season schedule when it meets Western Kentucky at 7 p.m., Feb. 9, in E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.
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 6:45 p.m.
In addition, Tuesday's game at Western Kentucky can be seen live on Fox Sports Houston Plus (Houston Comcast channel 76). The game will re-air at 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, on Fox Sports and again at noon, Thursday.
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. 11, from Ragin Cajuns (9600 Westheimer, Suite 80, Houston, 77063).
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.
Following the Feb. 11 show, fans can join the next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders at Chili's Too (4800 Calhoun) on the UH campus on Feb. 18.
* With Saturday's game, head coach Tom Penders moved into sole possession of 14th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,072 games coached... Penders broke out of a tie with former UTEP head coach Don Haskins, who led the Miners from 1962 to 1999.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 19th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 35th 20-point game of his career... It also was his 10th straight 20-point game in 2009-10.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 85th consecutive game and made his 58th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.
* Junior forward Maurice McNeil played every minute in a game for the third time this season.