Nov. 18, 2006
HOUSTON - - Senior guard Oliver Lafayette scored a season-high 29 points and junior Robert McKiver added 25 points to lead the University of Houston to an 89-80 victory over Monmouth Saturday afternoon in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Lafayette scored 18 of his points McKiver added 16 in the first half when the Cougars jumped out to a 47-38 halftime lead. .
In the second half, Houston seemed to take control of the game when Marcus Malone made a lay-up and extended its lead to 53-42 in the first three minutes of the half.
But, Monmouth demonstrated why the Hawks were picked to win the Northeast Conference when the came back to tie the score a 64-62 with 11:18 left to play. Jhmar Youngblood stole the ball from Houston's Jahmar Thorpe for a lay-up to tie the score.
But, Lafayette nailed a jump shot from the top of the key to give Houston the lead back, and the Cougars never trailed again.
They did get a scare with 2:05 left to play when Lafayette was called for his fifth foul, and Mike Shipman made one of his two free throws to make the score, 83-78. Dejan Delic added a lay-up off an offensive rebound to pull Monmouth to within 83-80 with 1:17 left to play.
But, McKiver hit Thorpe for a dunk shot on Houston's next possession, and hit one of his two free throws to extend Houston's lead to 86-80. The Cougars closed out the game with Malone hitting a free throw and McKiver hitting Robert Lee for a lay-up with five seconds left to make the final score 89-80.
The victory improves Houston's record to 2-0 this season, marking the first time since 1996-97 that the Cougars have begun a year winning their first two games.