Nov. 22, 2009
RENO, Nev. - Nevada built a 26-point lead in the second half and then held off a furious comeback by the University of Houston men's basketball team to take a 112-99 win Saturday evening inside Lawlor Events Center.
Houston senior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a team-high 32 points on 13-of-30 shooting with a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. It was his second straight 30-point game and the fifth of his career. The Houston native scored 17 points during a 9-minute run that saw the Cougars turn a 26-point deficit into a 6-point gap.
The Wolfpack (2-1) used hot shooting throughout the game to win for only the second time in nine meetings against Houston. Hitting 63.2 (24-of-38) percent of its shots in the first half, Nevada took a 61-44 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Nevada continued to build its lead in the second half, taking an 84-58 lead when Ray Kraemer buried a 3-pointer with 13:52 remaining. However, the Cougars used a 36-16 lead during the next 8:53 and pulled to within 100-94 when sophomore point guard Desmond Wade converted a lay-up and free throw at the 4:59 mark.
Coming off the bench, junior guard Adam Brown posted 12 of his career-high 25 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. The San Antonio, Texas, native finished the night hitting 9-of-12 from the field with five 3-pointers, two rebounds and six steals.
Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. Nevada took off on an 8-0 run over the next 1:31 to push its lead back to double digits.
The Cougars converted 44 percent of hits field-goal attempts (37-of-84) and committed only five turnovers while swiping 16 steals and forcing 23 Wolfpack turnovers. But Nevada used a 57-27 rebounding advantage and its own hot shooting (60.9 percent) to claim the win.
Senior forward Sean Coleman scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a 3-of-3 performance from behind the 3-point arc. Wade added 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting with five assists and two steals and only one turnover, while senior guard Kelvin Lewis was limited to eight points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.
Nevada's Joey Shaw led the Wolfpack with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting and snared nine rebounds. Brandon Fields added 24 points, including 22 in the first half, while Luke Babbitt tallied 14 points and a game-high 7 rebounds in the win.
Armon Johnson recorded 22 points and seven rebounds with a game-high 12 assists, while Kraemer finished with 19 points, including four 3-pointers.
The Cougars continue their 10-day, four-game road swing when they head north to compete at the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (CST), Thursday against No. 17/17 Oklahoma. From there, the team meets San Diego at 10:30 p.m. (CST), Friday.
The Cougars' third-day opponent on Saturday at the tournament will be determined based on the results of their first two games.
The games can be heard live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or at UHCougars.com with Brett Dolan calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to start 15 minutes before tip-off.
In addition, all three games can be seen live on CSS (Comcast ch. 129) in Houston.
** Head coach Tom Penders moved into a tie with John Chaney (Cheyney, Temple, 1973-06) for 20th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,053 games. ** Wit five 30-point games during his career, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into a tie for ninth place in Houston career history with Dwight Davis and Gary Phillips.
** Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade recorded his second straight game with five assists and only one turnover.
** Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 65th consecutive game and his 38th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among Cougar players.
** Freshman forward Kendrick Washington made his collegiate debut with two minutes off the bench.
** Nevada's 61 first-half points were the most by any Cougar opponent since Washington posted 62 points in the second half on Dec. 24, 2004.
** Nevada's 60.9 field goal percentage was the best by a Cougar opponent since Conference USA-rival UAB hit 61.0 percent (25-of-41) on March 2, 2002.