Dec. 14, 2009
HOUSTON - Senior guard Kelvin Lewis paced a hot shooting team performance from behind the arc to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 93-85 win against Sun Belt Conference member Troy on Monday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Lewis drained 7-of-9 three-point attempts on the way to 24 points and six rebounds in the first meeting between the two schools. As a team, the Cougars connected on 16-of-27 3-point attempts for a 59.3 percentage, the fifth-best single-game performance in school history.
After hitting half of their 18 long-range attempts in the first half, the Cougars got even hotter in the second half, nailing 7-of-9 attempts from the arc.
Lewis was one of five Cougars who hit at least one trey in the game and one of four with multiple 3-pointers. Senior guard Aubrey Coleman and junior guard Adam Brown each nailed three treys, while freshman guard Nick Haywood came off the bench to bury his first two 3-point attempts. Junior guard Zamal Nixon also added a 3-pointer in the win.
Coleman led all players with 25 points despite being held to only one point through the game's first 16 points. The nation's leading scorer entering the game, the Houston native also added four rebounds and three steals.
Brown posted 15 points with three rebounds, while junior forward Kahmell Broughton came off the bench to provide key minutes on the inside. The Carteret, N.J., native finished the night with a career-high 10 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes after sitting out the previous four games.
With the win, the Cougars won their fourth straight home contest dating back to last season and improved to 5-2 overall. Troy dropped its second straight game to fall to 5-5.
The game did not start out well early for the Cougars, who trailed 15-10 on Bernard Toombs' layup with 12:36 left in the first half. However, the Cougars used a 16-2 run during the next 4:10 to build a lead they would never relinquish.
A long-range assault led the Cougar rally with 3-pointers from Nixon and Brown and a pair from Haywood capping the scoring.
The Trojans continued to battle in the second half, pulling to within four points at three times during the final two minutes. However, that would be as close as the Troy would get the rest of the way.
Coleman buried a 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining for an 87-80 lead and hit a pair of free throws 13 seconds later after a Brandon Hazzard 3-pointer pulled the Trojans to within 87-83.
Although the Cougars' free throw shooting in the final 40 seconds was a little shaky, both Coleman and Brown nailed key free throws when the Cougars needed it for the final margin of victory.
Hazzard finished with 21 points, including three 3-pointers to lead the Trojans, while Richard Delk added 20 points and six rebounds. Yamene Coleman posted 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Cougars continue their month-long homestand at the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion when they play host to Mississippi State at 1 p.m., Saturday. It will be the third of six straight home games for the Cougars during the month of December.
Following their game against the Bulldogs, the Cougars play host to The Citadel (Dec. 21), TCU (Dec. 23) and Louisiana Tech (Dec. 29).
Fans can purchase tickets on-line at UHCougars.com by clicking the Tickets link, by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Single-game tickets and a variety of packages also are available now and can be purchased for as low as $35.
* Monday's game was the first meeting between the two teams.
* Both teams were winded at the end of the first half... The two teams played the final 4:48 without a stoppage in play, missing the final media timeout of the half.
* With Monday's win, head coach Tom Penders moved into sole possession of 27th place in NCAA Division I career history with 634 victories... Penders broke out of a tie with Hugh Durham, who recorded 633 wins from 1967 to 2005 at Florida State, Georgia, Jacksonville... Up next in the NCAA records book is Marv Harshmann, who recorded 637 wins from 1946-85 at Pacific Lutheran, Washington State and Washington.
* With seven 3-pointers, senior guard Kelvin Lewis tied his single-game high... It was the fourth time that Lewis hit even 3-pointers during his career and the first since Jan. 17, 2009, at Conference USA-rival Southern Miss.
* After a tough 2-of-15 performance at Alaska-Anchorage during the final day of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 28, Lewis has hit a combined 14-of-19 (73.7 percent) from behind the arc in the Cougars' last two games.
* Lewis competed in his 70th consecutive game and his 43rd straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.
* Junior forward Kahmell Broughton set career highs in points (10), free throws made and attempted (2), rebounds (4) and minutes (16)... Broughton also tied his career best with one steal.
* Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade dished out at least five assists in a game for the sixth time this season... It also was his fourth straight game with at least six assists... Wade also had dished out at least twice as many assists as turnovers in every game to date this season.
* Freshman guard Nick Haywood set a career high with two 3-pointers and tied his single-game high in 3-point attempts.