Men's Basketball Downs Valparaiso to Advance to CBI Semifinals

March 24, 2008

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HOUSTON - University of Houston senior guard Robert McKiver poured in a game-high 33 points and sophomore guard Kelvin Lewis added a career-high 28 to help lead the Cougars to a 91-67 win over Valparaiso during the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational at Hofheinz Pavilion on Monday night.

McKiver and Lewis combined to hit 13-of-27 3-pointers and keyed a long-range Cougar attack, which hit 16-of-37 attempts from behind the 3-point arc.

Meanwhile the Cougar defense limited the Crusaders to only 7-of-25 shooting from the 3-point line.

Senior forward Tafari Toney finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the second double-double of his career.

Urule Igbavboa led Valparaiso with 16 points, while Jarryd Loyd added 15 for the Crusaders. Brandon McPherson finished with 11 points, and Michael Rogers added 10 points in the losing effort.

With the win, the Cougars moved into the CBI semifinals with a match-up against Conference USA rival Tulsa on Wednesday. The Golden Hurricane claimed a 69-60 win over Utah on Wednesday. Game time had not been announced as of press time Monday.

Fans can hear the game live with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Carl Dukes providing color analysis. Final radio arrangements are expected to be announced Tuesday.

The Cougars (24-9) led by 13 points at the half and gradually pulled away in the second stanza. An 11-2 run helped by a pair of 3-pointers by Lewis gave the Cougars a 70-47 lead with 10:18 remaining in the game.

The game went back and forth early with the lead changing hands six times through the first 15 minutes. However, McKiver scored six points in a 10-2 Houston run as the Cougars took a 39-29 lead with 3:12 to go in the first half.

Senior guard Marcus Malone nailed a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to give Houston a 45-32 lead at the half.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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