Feb. 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - With both teams struggling to score early into the game the University of Houston men's basketball team increased its defensive intensity to beat Tulane 66-56 in front of 2,185 at Fogelman Arena.
The Cougars began the game shooting just 1-9 from the field in the first four minutes of the game with the lone field goal coming from senior guard Robert McKiver, who hit a three-point shot from the right wing with 15:32 remaining in the opening period.
Tulane also was struggling to score as the Green Wave opened the game hitting two of their first six shots, but more importantly, missed four of its first five free throws.
McKiver's jumper closed the Cougars to within 5-3 and that is when Houston began turning up the pressure. Houston's defensive efforts resulted in Tulane turning the ball over 15 times in the first half and gave the Cougars a 29-28 lead at halftime despite shooting just 27 percent from the field.
The Cougars opened the second half scoring five points after DeShaun Williams stole the ball from David Gomez and raced down court for a lay-up. Then Lanny Smith nailed his second three-point shot in the game to give the Cougars a 34-29 lead.
The Cougars extended its lead to 53-37 when Brockeith Pane hit a three-point shot just left of the key.
The Green Wave had a late rally to close to within 59-52 with 2:11 to play, but Tafari Toney nailed a three-point shot from the left baseline to open Houston's lead back to double digits.
The Cougars forced 12 turnovers and hit eight 3-pointers as it outscored Tulane 37-28 in the second half and went on to win the game 66-56. The victory improves Houston's record to 18-4 overall this season. The Cougars are 7-1 in league play and are 4-0 in C-USA road games this season.
Houston also ended the game scoring 37 points off of Tulane's 27 turnovers.
McKiver led the Cougars with 25 points and Williams added 12 off the bench. Toney and Smith each finished the game with six points, while Kelvin Lewis added five points.
Tulane (15-8, 5-4 C-USA) shot 52.4 percent from the field, and David Gomez led the Green Wave with 17 points.