Nov. 15, 2008
HOUSTON - Junior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a game-high 19 points, including 10 of the team's last 13 points, to help rally the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 73-64 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion.
With the Cougars clinging to a 60-57 lead with 3:27 remaining in the game, Coleman was fouled and connected on a pair of free throws. The Hilltoppers narrowed the deficit to three points again on a pair of free throws from Anthony Sally before Qa'rraan Calhoun's 3-pointer handed the Cougars a 65-59 lead.
Orlando Mendez-Valdez answered with a 3-pointer of his own with 1:27 remaining to trim the Cougar lead back to three points, but it would be The Aubrey Coleman Show the rest of the way.
The Houston native nailed four straight free throws for a 69-62 Cougar advantage and then capped his scoring with a pair of dunks to ice the win and give the Cougars their fifth straight home-opening win.
Although he hit only four of his 15 shots from the field, Coleman was a key contributor from the charity stripe, hitting 11-of-14 free throws, and added a career-high six rebounds.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 2-1, while Western Kentucky fell to 0-1.
Making his first appearance in front of the hometown fans, junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun scored a season-high 15 points while grabbing six rebounds. Junior guard Kelvin Lewis and senior center Marcus Cousin each chipped in with 12 points with Cousin falling just one rebound short of recording his second double-double of the season.
Freshman point guard Desmond Wade dished out a game-high eight assists with only two turnovers to pace the Cougar offense.
Sophomore forward Horace McGloster made his season debut with the Cougars, scoring eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in only nine minutes.
Things did not go well for the Cougars early in the game. The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 21-11 lead through the game's first 10 minutes and carried a 37-27 lead into the locker room at the halftime break. WKU built that advantage after hitting 14 of their 30 shots from the field while limiting the Cougars to 27.6 percent.
However, the Cougars came roaring out of the locker room in the second half, using a 19-8 run to take a 46-45 lead, the team's first since the 17:15 mark of the first half. Calhoun led the way with seven points in the rally.
Uros Komadinic came off the bench to lead Western Kentucky with 14 points, while Orlando Mendez-Valdez and Steffphon Pettigrew each added 11 points. Jeremy Evans scored eight points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in the loss.
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday when they play host to Alcorn State at Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Willis Wilson serving as analyst. The pregame show is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. (CST).