Men's Basketball Knocks Off Arkansas in Little Rock

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1 2 F
Houston (3-0) 36 51 87
Arkansas (2-1) 36 36 72

Quick Stats UH Ark
Points 87 78
Rebounds 41 30
Assists 15 10
Turnovers 20 10
Field Goals 31-59 28-65
Free Throws 18-23 18-29
3-Point Field Goals 7-16 4-17
Fouls 23 22
Statistical Leaders
Houston Points Rebounds Assists
Kirk Van Slyke 19 5 3
Alandise Harris 18 6 0
Jonathon Simmons 16 7 3
Arkansas Points Rebounds Assists
Julysses Nobles 17 5 2
B.J. Young 15 3 0
Rashad Madden 15 3 0

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Junior forward Kirk Van Slyke poured in a game-high 19 points off the bench, and sophomore forward Alandise Harris added 18 points and six rebounds on his return to his hometown to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to an 87-78 win against Arkansas on Friday evening.

Playing in front of 12,691 fans inside Verizon Arena, the Cougars snapped a seven-game losing streak to Arkansas and earned their first victory against the Razorbacks since late in the 1987-88 season.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Arkansas dropped to 2-1.

Van Slyke tied his career high posted a career high in points for the second straight game. A native of The Woodlands, Texas, he connected on 8-of-10 shots from the field and grabbed five rebounds with three assists and a pair of blocked shots in only 18 minutes.

Harris, who competed as a prep at Little Rock's Central High, was equally impressive and provided some key offense for the Cougars late. He finished the night with 18 points, six boards and a pair of blocks.

The Cougars connected on a season-high 52.5 percent (31-of-59) from the field and shot even better in the second half, hitting 54.5 percent (18-of-33) on the way to 51 points. Houston's defense limited the Razorbacks to only 43.1 percent in the game.

The two teams played it close early, and the Cougars grabbed a 21-20 lead when freshman point guard J.J. Thompson buried a 3-pointer with 8:50 remaining in the first half. However, the Razorbacks used a 14-5 run during the next five minutes for a 34-26 advantage, forcing Houston head coach James Dickey to call a timeout.

Whatever the second-year Cougar coach said in the huddle worked. The Cougars closed out the opening period on a 10-2 run and knotted the game at 36-36 when Van Slyke converted a layup with 52 seconds remaining.

Arkansas connected on the first bucket of the second half, but the Cougars answered with a 23-6 run to build a 58-44 lead on Van Slyke's layup and free throw.

The Razorbacks tried to slow the Cougar rally during that time but could not sustain a charge. It took until the 9:33 mark of the second half before the Hogs were able to score more than two unanswered points against the Cougars.

Eventually, Arkansas chipped away at the lead and pulled to within 72-68 on Julysses Nobles' dunk with 4:11 remaining, forcing Dickey to use a timeout before a media break and bringing most of the crowd to its feet. On the ensuing possession, Harris stopped the Razorback rally with a layup and was fouled to silence the arena.

Harris missed the ensuing free throw, but junior forward Jonathon Simmons grabbed the rebound and put it back up and in for a 76-68 lead to stun the Razorback faithful. The Hogs would never get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Houston nailed 7-of-8 free throw attempts during the final minute to ice the win and collect their first win against the Razorbacks in Arkansas since Feb. 11, 1987.

Five Cougars reached double digits. In addition to Harris and Van Slyke, Simmons added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists, while Thompson and senior guard Darian Thibodeaux posted 10 points apiece.

Freshman forward TaShawn Thomas led all players with 10 rebounds and spearheaded a Cougar defense that outrebounded the Hogs 41-30.

Nobles led the Razorbacks with 17 points and five rebounds, while B.J. Young added 15 points. Rashad Madden chipped in with 13 points, and Michael Sanchez tallied 11 points in the losing effort.

The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion for their final three games of the month. That homestand begins at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, when the team plays host to Oakland. That game will be part of a doubleheader with the Houston women's team, which faces Oral Roberts at 5 p.m.

From there, the team will host TCU (Nov. 26) and LSU (Nov. 29) with the latter game to be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Fans can hear all Cougar Basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes providing analysis. Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the "GameTracker" link at UHCougars.com.

Season tickets are now available at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. General admission season tickets begin as low as $135, while reserved seating season tickets start as low as $195.

Families also will enjoy the Family Fun Plan. For only $299, families receive two adult and two youth general admission season tickets. Additional youth season tickets in the Family Fun Plan can be purchased for $75 each.

In the Satisfaction Guaranteed plan, fans who purchase men's season tickets by Nov. 30 and are not satisfied with their game-day experience can return their remaining tickets by Feb. 1 and receive a full refund.

Fans can order their season tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links.



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