Nov. 16, 2007
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Robert McKiver and Brockeith Pane combined for 32 points and some clutch scoring down the stretch to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 64-58 victory over Marist in the second round of the ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament in San Juan on Friday afternoon.
After suffering a one-point loss to VCU in the opening round of the tournament, Houston found itself in another hard-fought battle that included 12 lead changes and eight ties.
Eight of the lead changes took place in the second half before McKiver hit Pane for a three-point basket on the left wing to give the Cougars a 55-52 lead with 3:18 left to play.
After Ryan Stilphen made a jumper in the middle of the lane to pull Marist to within one point, McKiver nailed a trey of his own from the top of the key.
Then, McKiver hit four straight free throws and Pane added two more in the final 39 seconds of the game to seal the victory for Houston, which raised its record to 2-1.
McKiver tallied a game-high 17 points, while Pane added 15 in his first collegiate start. Zamal Nixon added nine points off the bench, while Dion Dowell and Tafari Toney scored seven points each. Dowell also grabbed a season-high of 12 rebounds to equal the second-highest total in his career at Houston.
Lanny Smith scored six points, while Marcus Cousin came off the bench to score three points and grab four rebounds as the Cougars out-rebounded Marist 24-23. Houston also collected eight steals and forced 15 turnovers by the Red Foxes.
Jay Gavin came off the bench to lead Marist with 16 points, and Ben Farmer added nine points and eight rebounds for the Red Foxes who fell to 1-2.
The Cougars will play the winner of tonight's game between Temple and the College of Charleston for fourth place Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. (central). Sunday's game will be shown on ESPNU and broadcast live on KTRH (740 AM) with Tom Franklin and Carl Dukes describing the action.