Feb. 18, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Junior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a career-high 38 points, but it would not be quite enough as Marshall claimed an 88-83 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team inside the Cam Henderson Center on Wednesday.
Marshall's Shaquille Johnson rebounded a Tirrell Baines' miss and laid it up to give the Thundering Herd an 84-83 lead with 63 seconds remaining in the game. After a missed UH 3-pointer, Damier Pitts and Markel Humphrey connected on two free throws each during the final 22 seconds to clinch the win for Marshall.
Coleman, who recorded his third 30-point game of the season, was a consistent offensive performer for the Cougars. After tallying 20 points in the first half, the Houston native added 18 points during the final 20 points, connecting on 16-of-30 attempts from the field.
His total topped his previous high of 35 points at No. 18/19 Memphis on Jan. 31. Coleman also added six rebounds and four steals while playing all 40 minutes for the fourth time during his career.
He became only the 20th player in school history to record at least three 30-point games during his career.
The game went back and forth in the second half after the Cougars grabbed a 46-42 lead at halftime. With 2:18 remaining in the game, Marshall's Chris Lutz hit a pair of free throws to pull the Thundering Herd to within 81-80. After a Cougar turnover, Humphrey gave Marshall the lead with a layup with 1:49 remaining.
The Cougars answered on the ensuing possession and regained the lead when senior center Marcus Cousin was fouled and nailed both free throws for an 83-82 lead with 1:27 left in the contest.
On the next possession, Baines missed a jumper, but Johnson snared the offensive rebound and laid the ball into the basket to give Marshall a lead it would never relinquish. After Desmond Wade missed a 3-pointer for the Cougars with 51 seconds left, Marshall worked the clock down and pushed its lead to 86-83 when Damier Pitts was fouled with 22 seconds remaining.
Pitts connected on both free throw attempts, and a turnover by the Cougars on the next possession while setting up a 3-point shot all but iced the win for Marshall. Humphrey hit both free throws with 10 seconds left for the final margin of victory.
Cousin added 14 points and four rebounds, while junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun finished with 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Kelvin Lewis was limited to seven points, snapping a streak of 27 consecutive games with at least 10 points.
Humphrey led the Thundering Herd with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Baines came off the bench to record 21 points. Johnson added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Pitts posted 11 points.
With the win, the Cougars dropped to 16-8 overall and 7-4 in league games. The Cougars also suffered their first loss to the Thundering Herd, snapping a four-game winning streak. UH also fell into a three-way tie with UTEP and Tulsa for third place in the Conference USA standings.
Marshall improved to 12-14 overall and 4-7 in C-USA games.
NEXT GAME FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to league-rival UCF at 7 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be the second regular-season meeting between the two teams after the Cougars enjoyed a 97-69 win in Orlando on Feb. 4.
Free admission is available to approved groups of 10 or more people for the remaining Saturday home games (Feb. 21, vs. UCF and March 7, vs. SMU). For more information, please call the 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.