Nov. 29, 2008
HOUSTON - Junior guard Kelvin Lewis led all players with 20 points, while senior center Marcus Cousin added a career-high 18 points and game-high nine rebounds to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to an 84-51 win over North Texas inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday.
After the Cougars jumped out to a big lead to start the game, North Texas chipped away and knotted the game at 23-23 on Collin Dennis' 3-pointer. The two teams battled back and forth before the Cougars took a 34-28 cushion into the locker room at the halftime break.
However, that would be as close as the Mean Green would get the rest of the way. The Cougars erupted out of the locker room on a 22-9 run over the first seven minutes of the final stanza and never led by fewer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Junior guard Aubrey Coleman highlighted the second-half run, scoring six of his 13 points while adding an assist and a steal during that stretch. The Houston native also added three steals and three assists in the win.
Coleman was just part of a steady Cougar offense in the second half. After hitting only 37.5 percent of their shots from the field in the opening 20 minutes, the Cougars drilled 51.4 percent (18-of-35) of their shots in the second half to enjoy their biggest win over the Mean Green since the 1977-78 season.
Lewis connected on 7-of-12 shots from the field, including 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc, while Cousin finished 7-of-14 from the field.
Meanwhile, the Cougar defense limited North Texas to 30.0 percent shooting from the field. Freshman point guard Desmond Wade topped the defense, posting a game-high three steals while limiting UNT guard Josh White to only nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. White entered the game as the Mean Green's leading scorer with 15.6 points per game.
Dennis scored 12 points to lead North Texas, while Tristan Thompson came off the bench to add 11 points. George Odufuwa and Kedrick Hogans led the Mean Green with six rebounds apiece.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m. (CST), Tuesday, when they meet Sun Belt Conference member Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. (CST).