Feb. 21, 2009
HOUSTON - Junior guard Aubrey Coleman poured in team-highs of 28 points and 13 rebounds, and junior guard Kelvin Lewis added 22 points - including four 3-pointers - to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 77-72 win against Conference USA-rival UCF on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Coleman, a native of Houston and product of Marshall High, dominated the game early and recorded his team-leading ninth double-double by halftime with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Cougars took a 39-35 lead into the locker room at the break despite hitting only 31.3 percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes.
The second half went back and forth with neither team building more than a 6-point lead through the first 15 minutes. UCF took a 54-53 lead on Isaac Sosa's jumper with 9:23 remaining in the game, but that was the point at which Lewis took over the game.
The Fort Worth native buried a 3-pointer to hand the Cougars a 56-54 lead with 8:12 remaining and, following a steal by senior center Marcus Cousin, nailed another trey to hand the Cougars a 59-54 cushion. UCF guard Jermaine Taylor pulled the Knights to within 59-56 following a layup, but Lewis' third trey in less than two minutes broke the game open in the Cougars' favor.
UCF continued to battle back and pulled to within 71-70 on Taylor's 3-pointer at the 1:59 mark, but Coleman connected on a jumper 27 seconds later to push the Cougar lead back to three points. Following a UCF turnover, Coleman was fouled and hit the first of two free throws with 71 seconds remaining for a 74-70 Cougar lead.
Taylor connected on a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left to pull the Cougars to within 75-72, but Lewis iced the game with two free throws of his own after being fouled on the throw-in for the final margin of victory.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 17-8 overall and 8-4 in league games. UCF dropped to 16-10 overall and 6-6 in league games. The Cougars also earned their fourth straight win against the Knights and swept the regular-season series in 2008-09. UH enjoyed a 97-69 win against the Knights on Feb. 4 in Orlando.
Cousin added nine points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars. It was the fifth time this season that the Baltimore native fell one point or one rebound shy of a double-double.
Taylor led all players with 35 points, while Sosa came off the bench to add 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Forward A.J. Tyler added 11 rebounds in the loss.
NEXT GAME FOR HOUSTON
Following the UCF game, the Cougars hit the road to meet Conference USA-rival Tulsa at 7:05 p.m., Wednesday in the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Fans can hear that game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. Fans also can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.
NEXT HOME GAME FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to league-rival Memphis at 7 p.m., March 4, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be the second regular-season meeting between the two teams after Memphis claimed an 83-68 win on Jan. 31 in Memphis.
Free admission is available to approved groups of 10 or more people for the remaining Saturday home game against Conference USA-rival SMU on March 7. 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.