Dec. 13, 2008
HOUSTON - After a sluggish first half, the University of Houston men's basketball team connected on all but eight of their second-half shots on the way to a dominating 92-58 win over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Playing for the first time since a 70-67 win at Middle Tennessee on Dec.2 due to final examinations, the Cougars struggled at times during the first 20 minutes. UH connected on only 11-of-29 shots in the first half and saw the game tied at 24 when Dwayne Harmason buried a pair of free throw attempts with 4:02 remaining in the period.
However, that would be as close as the Delta Devils would get the rest of the way. The Cougars scored the final nine points of the second half and the first four points of the second half and would never lead by fewer than 10 points the rest of the way.
UH connected on five of their first seven shots in the second half to build a 15-point advantage and would eventually hit 12 of their first 16 shots in the final stanza. By the end of the game, the Cougars had nailed 69.2 percent (18-of-26) shots in the second half.
In addition to their play from the field, the Cougars also took advantage of some sharp shooting from the charity stripe. UH connected on 23-of-27 free throw attempts as junior guard Aubrey Coleman hit 8-of-9 attempts, while senior center Marcus Cousin drained 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Junior guard Kelvin Lewis led the Cougars with 23 points, including a career-best-tying seven 3-pointers. Cousin posted 18 points after hitting five field goals and 8-of-10 attempts from the free throw line and led all players with nine rebounds. It was the second time this season that the Baltimore native finished just one rebound shy of a triple double.
Freshman point guard Desmond Wade scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and dished out a game-high eight assists to lead the Cougars outright in that category for the seventh time this season. Coleman added 12 points and a career-high eight rebounds.
With the win, the Cougars won their sixth straight game and improved to 6-1, while Mississippi Valley State fell to 0-11. The Cougars also enjoyed their third victory of 30 or more points in their last four games.
Julius Cheeks finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting and was the only Delta Devil player to finish in double digits. Amos Studivant and Eric Petty topped MVSU with six rebounds apiece.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to action at 6 p.m. (CST), Dec. 20 when they meet Toledo in Ohio. 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 5:45 p.m. (CST).