March 6, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - Trailing by as many as 19 points, the University of Houston men's basketball team rallied to take the lead in the second half, but Tulane scored eight of the game's last 10 points during the final two minutes to take a 79-74 win against the Cougars on Saturday night inside Fogelman Arena.
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.
The radio show airs live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The show can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com and will be hosted by the "Voice of the Cougars" Tom Franklin.
The date and location for the final broadcast of The Pulse with Tom Penders will be announced at a later date. Originally scheduled for Thursday, March 11, the site and date may change depending on the Cougars' stay at the 2010 C-USA Championship, hosted by Tulsa beginning March 10.
Fans are invited to join Penders and Franklin at the selected restaurant each week as the duo discusses recent Cougar Basketball action and upcoming games, college basketball, the world of sports and much more.
Fans also can click the "Ask Coach Penders" button on the main page at UHCougars.com to submit a question that could be asked on the show.
* With 38 points, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into 15th place in Houston career history with 1,390 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Andre Owens, who scored 1,407 points from 2002 to 2005.
* With nine 30-point games in 2009-10, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into a tie with Robert McKiver (2007-08) and Rob Wiliams (1980-81) for ninth place in Houston single-season history... Up next in the Houston records book is Otis Birdsong, who finished with 10 30-point games in 1975-76.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 93rd consecutive game and made his 66th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.
* With Saturday's game, head coach Tom Penders worked his 1,081st game and moved into sole possession of 12th place in NCAA Division I career history... Penders broke out of a tie with Marv Harshmann, who coached 1,080 games at Pacific Lutheran, Washington State and Washington from 1946 to 1985... Up next in the NCAA records book is Norm Stewart, who coached 1,107 games at Northern Iowa and Missouri from 1962 to 1999.