Coleman Leads Men's Basketball in Win over Rice

Feb. 8, 2009

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HOUSTON - Junior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with 27 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 72-65 win over Conference USA- and crosstown rival Rice on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

After posting only six points in the game' first 20 minutes, Coleman hit 6-of-12 shots from the field and 9-of-10 free throws on the way to 21 second-half points. The Houston native recorded his team-leading eighth double-double and single-handedly spearheaded the Cougar offense midway through the second half.

With the win, the Cougars won their fifth straight game against the Owls and improved to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in C-USA games. Rice dropped to 7-15 overall and 2-6 in league contests.

The Cougars also enjoyed a doubleheader sweep of the Owls on Saturday after the UH women's team claimed a 70-50 win against Rice.

UH took a 31-28 lead into the locker room at halftime, but the Owls used an 11-7 run to start the second half and grabbed a 39-38 lead when Cory Pflieger drained a 3-pointer with 15:16 remaining in the game. That set the stage for Coleman, who scored 17 of the Cougars' next 25 points.

First, he buried a pair of free throws to give the Cougars the lead and, following a 3-pointer from junior guard Kelvin Lewis, scored the team's next 11 points as UH built a 54-52 advantage.

The two teams traded baskets from there and saw the game tied at 61-61 when Connor Frizzelle connected on a pair of free throws with 3:57 remaining.

That would be as close as Rice would get. Coleman rebounded his own missed shot and gave the Cougars the lead for good with a layup only 21 seconds later and, after a missed Rice shot, Lewis brought much of the season-high crowd of 5,533 to its feet with a 3-pointer. Senior center Marcus Cousin and freshman point guard Desmond Wade combined to drill three free throws for a 69-61 Cougar lead with less than a minute left in the game.

The Owls pulled to within 70-65 on Lawrence Ghoram's jumper with 12 seconds remaining, but Coleman iced the win with his final two free throws for the final margin of victory.

Lewis finished with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun added 12 points, including three treys, with eight rebounds in the win.

Rodney Foster led Rice with 20 points, while Trey Stanton added 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Aleks Perka posted 10 points in the loss.

The Cougars travel north to meet Conference USA-rival SMU at 7 p.m., Wednesday, at Moody Coliseum in Dallas. 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.

Following the SMU game, the Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Conference USA-rival Tulane at 7 p.m., Feb. 14. Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Willis Wilson providing analysis.

The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off each day.

Free admission is available to approved groups of 10 or more people for the remaining Saturday home games (Feb. 14, vs. Tulane; Feb. 21, vs. UCF and March 7, vs. SMU). For more information, please call the UH Marketing Office at 713-743-9453.

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.



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