Nov. 28, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Senior guards Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis combined for 33 points and 11 assists, but it would not be quite enough as the University of Houston men's basketball team fell 72-65 to San Diego on Friday in Sullivan Arena during the third day of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.
Although they forced 23 turnovers off 14 steals, the Cougars were unable to overcome steady shooting by the Toreros from the field and the free throw line. San Diego connected on at least 55 percent of its shots from the field in each shot and nailed 57.9 percent (22-of-38) in the game.
When the Cougars mounted a second-half comeback, the Toreros were able to hold Houston off at the foul line, hitting 25-of-30 attempts from the charity stripe. San Diego scored 15 of its last 17 points during the final 4:40 to win the first encounter between the two teams.
With its steady shooting, San Diego was successful in keeping the Cougars' fast break offense in check for most of the game. The Cougars could not muster a run of more than seven straight points in the game before the Toreros answered with points of their own.
The Cougars trailed 59-46 with 4:12 remaining in the game when Brandon Johnson hit a pair of free throws. Houston then erupted on a 15-4 run during the next 2:50 and pulled to within 64-61 when Lewis buried his final trey of the night with 1:22 left in the game.
However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. The Toreros used a pair of free throws from Johnson and Devin Ginty to build a 68-61 advantage and never led by fewer than five points the rest of the way.
Lewis led the Cougars with 17 points, including three 3-pointers and posted four steals while playing all 40 minutes. Coleman added 16 points with four rebounds, four assists and a game-high seven steals.
Coming off the bench, sophomore point guard Desmond Wade finished with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and dished out a game-high eight assists with two steals and no turnovers in 27 minutes.
Clinton Houston came off the San Diego bench to lead all players with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Johnson finished with 15 points, including a 10-of-10 performance from the free throw line, while Chris Lewis added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cougars wrap up their stay in the tournament's third-place game when they meet host Alaska-Anchorage at 7:30 p.m. (CST)/4:30 p.m. (AST), Saturday, inside Sullivan Arena.
Due to the Cougar Football game Saturday evening against Conference USA-rival Rice, fans can hear Saturday's men's basketball game against Alaska-Anchorage live on 740 AM KTRH with Brett Dolan providing play-by-play. The pregame show will begin at 7:15 p.m. (CST)/4:15 p.m. (AST)
In addition, Saturday's game can be seen live on CSS (Comcast ch. 129) on tape delay at 10:30 p.m. (CST), Saturday, in Houston and on various regional and national outlets across the country. Fans should check their local listings to see if the game will be broadcast in their area.
The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion when they play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christ at 2 p.m., Dec. 6. It will be the first of six straight home games for the Cougars during the month of December.
* Friday's game was the first time that Houston faced San Diego in men's basketball.
* San Diego was the 233rd different opponent that head coach Tom Penders has faced during his career.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis needs only nine points against Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday afternoon to become the 42nd player in Houston history with at least 1,000 points during his career.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis played every minute of a game for the first time in 2009-10 and the 11th time during his career.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 67th consecutive game and his 40-th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.