Men's Basketball Races Past No. 25 Oklahoma at Great Alaska Shootout

Nov. 26, 2009

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Senior guard Kelvin Lewis scored a game-high 28 points with six 3-pointers, while senior guard Aubrey Coleman added 27 points to help lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 100-93 win against No. 25 Oklahoma during the second day of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday inside Sullivan Arena.

Although the Sooners hit 53.6 percent from the field, a stifling Cougar defense forced 18 turnovers and turned those into 27 points. Meanwhile, a steady Cougar offense surrendered only seven giveaways which led to just seven Oklahoma points.

Lewis led the Cougars in scoring for the first time this season, hitting 11-of-18 shots from the field, including six 3-pointers, while grabbing three rebounds with three assists and a steal.

Coleman, who opened the season with back-to-back 30-point games, saw his season scoring average dip just slightly after totaling 27 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including 13 free throws. With a game-high 11 rebounds, the Houston native recorded the 15th double-double of his career and also dished out a team-high six assists with three steals and only one turnover.

A product of Marshall High, Coleman scored 11 of his points during a 3:30 run as the Cougars took the lead for good and eventually built a 10-point lead.

Making his first collegiate start, junior guard Adam Brown scored 15 points with six rebounds, three assists, four steals and a pair of 3-pointers, while freshman forward Kirk Van Slyke added a career-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

It was the program's first win against a ranked opponent outside Houston since an 84-83 win at LSU on Nov. 29, 2005, and only the second since the 1986-87 campaign. The Cougars' point total was the most against a ranked opponent since a 100-91 win at No. 9/9 LSU on Dec. 6, 1983.

The game did not start well for the Cougars, who trailed 18-4 early in the second half and eventually fell behind 41-23 when Oklahoma forward Tiny Gallon hit one of two free throw attempts. Houston continued to chip away at the lead and trailed 52-47 after Van Slyke buried a trey with only 29 seconds remaining in the first half.

In the second half, the Sooners used an 11-6 run to start the final 20 minutes and built a 63-53 advantage on Cade Davis' layup with 15:46 left. That would be the final points the Sooners would score during a 2:42 run that saw the Cougars take a 64-63 lead on Lewis' 3-pointer.

Oklahoma regained the lead on Gallon's dunk and a jumper from Tommy Mason-Griffin, but Van Slyke tied the game at 67-67 with another trey.

With the score eventually tied at 71-71, the Cougars erupted on a 12-2 run during the next 3:16 to build an 83-73 lead, an advantage they would never relinquish.

The Sooners made the game interesting in the final two minutes, pulling to within 97-91 following a jumper and free throw from Willie Warren and Steven Pledger's 3-pointer. But, Brown iced the contest with two free throws with 30 seconds left to push the Cougars' lead to 99-91, and Coleman pushed the team into triple digits, hitting one of two free throws with 19 seconds remaining.

Warren led the Sooners with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Pledger posted 23 points, including 20 in the first half, with six 3-pointers. Gallon posted 15 points with nine rebounds, while Davis and Mason-Griffin chipped in with 11 points apiece.

The Cougars continue their stay at the tournament when they meet San Diego at 10:30 p.m. (CST)/7:30 p.m. (AST), Friday, inside Sullivan Arena. Thursday's win sets up a Friday night showdown against San Diego for the Pool B title and a spot in Saturday's championship game.

San Diego knocked off Oklahoma 78-64 on Wednesday during the tournament's first day.

Houston's third-day opponent on Saturday at the tournament will be determined based on the results from Pool A.

Friday's game 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 at 10:15 p.m. (CST)/7:15 p.m. (AST)

Due to the Cougar Football game Saturday evening against Conference USA-rival Rice, fans can hear Saturday's men's basketball game live on 740 AM KTRH with Dolan providing play-by-play. The pregame show will start 15 minutes before tip-off.

In addition, all three games can be seen live on CSS (Comcast ch. 129) in Houston.

** The Cougars scored at least 90 points for the third straight game to open the 2009-10 season... This marks the first time since 1976-77 that the Cougars have accomplished that feat.
** With 100 points, the Cougars reached triple digits against a ranked team for only the fourth time in school history (100-91, at LSU, Dec. 6, 1983; 119-106, vs. #12 Notre Dame, March 20, 1971, NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Consolation; 102-89, vs. Providence, Dec. 20, 1965).
** Houston improved to 68-161 all-time against ranked opponents. ** Houston improved to 168-4 when scoring 100+ points and won its 17th straight game when reaching triple digits.
** Houston improved to 1-1 all-time against Oklahoma... Thursday's game was the first meeting against the Sooners since a 55-51 loss on Dec. 15, 1960, at Houston's Lion Club Tournament.
** Head coach Tom Penders moved into sole possession of 19th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,054 games... He broke out of a tie with John Chaney (Cheyney, Temple) who coached 1,053 games from 1973 to 2006... Up next in the NCAA records book is Lute Olson, who coached 1,060 games at Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona from 1974 to 2007.
** With Thursday's win, head coach Tom Penders moved into sole possession of 28th place in NCAA Division I career history with 631 victories... Up next in the Houston records book is Hugh Durham, who collected 633 wins at Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville from 1967 to 2005.
** Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 66th consecutive game and his 39th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.



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