Second-Half Rally Falls Short for Men's Basketball at Tulane
March 6, 2010
After chipping away at the Tulane lead and moving to within 57-42 early in the second half, the Cougars used a 25-9 run during the next eight-and-a-half minutes and grabbed their first lead of the game at 67-66 when senior guard Aubrey Coleman drained a jumper with 4:46 remaining.
Coleman, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer, added to his season total with a career-best-tying 38 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field. The Houston native also led the Cougars with seven rebounds and recorded the 12th 30-point game of his career, tying with Rob Williams for fourth most in school career history.
The two teams traded the next three baskets before Coleman hit one of two free throws for a 70-69 lead with 3:35 left. Tulane regained the lead at 71-70 when Asim McQueen scored a layup, but the Cougars answered just seconds later when Coleman was fouled driving to the basket and hit both free throw attempts for a 72-71 lead with two minutes to go.
Unfortunately, that would be the last time the Cougars would lead. McQueen knotted the game at 72-72 hitting the first of two free throw attempts and, after a missed Houston 3-pointer, Kendall Timmons tipped in a missed Tulane shot with 52 seconds remaining for a 74-72 Green Wave lead.
The Cougar defense held and forced Kevin Sims into a missed shot, but the Green Wave grabbed the offensive rebound with 30 seconds left, forcing the Cougars to foul Jordan Callahan, who converted both free throw attempts.
After another missed Houston shot, Tulane rebounded the miss and Kris Richard hit 1-of-2 free throws to give Tulane a 77-72 lead with 13 seconds remaining. Coleman hit a jumper with eight seconds left to pull the Cougars back to within a 3-pointer, but Sims iced the game with two free throws with six seconds left.
Senior guard Kelvin Lewis hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin of victory. The Fort Worth, Texas, native finished with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field.
Tulane enjoyed a 46-22 rebounding advantage in the game and connected on 49.1 percent of its shots, including 53.6 percent in the first half, on the way to a 41-29 lead at the break.
Jordan Callahan led the Green Wave with 21 points, including four 3-pointers, while McQueen added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Timmons finished with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Cougars used hot shooting of their own in the second half to chip away at the deficit, connecting on 54.8 percent in the final 20 minutes.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 15-15 overall and 7-9 in C-USA games. Houston now will play as the No. 7 seed and face No. 10 seed East Carolina at noon, Wednesday during the first round of the 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Championship.
The Cougars also saw their four-game winning streak against Tulane end. It was the program's first loss to Tulane since a 63-61 setback in Houston on Jan. 26, 2005.
Tulane improved to 8-21 overall and 3-13 in C-USA games. The Green Wave will play as the No. 11 seed and face No. 6 seed Southern Miss at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday in their first-round game at the GMC Sierra C-USA Championship.
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