Dec. 21, 2009
HOUSTON - Senior guard Aubrey Coleman finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double and junior forward Maurice McNeil added a career-high 16 rebounds to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to an 81-58 win against The Citadel on Monday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars scored the game's first seven points and forced the Bulldogs into 11 straight missed shots to open the game. After The Citadel pulled to within 9-4 on Bryan Streeter's free throw, the Cougars erupted on a 13-0 run during the next two minutes to build a 22-4 advantage.
Houston would never lead by fewer than 12 points the rest of the way and eventually built a 64-29 lead midway through the second half.
The Cougars connected on 45.8 percent of their shots from the field and limited the Bulldogs to only 37.1 percent, including 27.6 percent in the game's first 20 minutes. In addition, a stingy, trapping Houston defense forced 19 Bulldog giveaways, leading to 21 Cougar points.
Coleman, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer, finished with 26 points on 7-of-17 shooting and buried all 12 attempts from the free throw line. Two days after playing only eight minutes against Mississippi State, McNeil returned to the starting lineup and grabbed 16 boards, including 10 off the defensive glass to top his own season-best against Nicholls State.
Senior guard Kelvin Lewis finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and added a game-high six steals, while junior guard Adam Brown came off the bench to pour in 17 points, including three treys.
With the win, the Cougars won for the fourth time in their last five games and improved to 6-3. The Citadel dropped its second straight game and fell to 6-7.
Cameron Wells and Harrison DuPont each posted 14 points to lead The Citadel, while Cosmo Morabbi added 12 points off four 3-pointers. Center Joe Wolfinger added a team-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 TCU at 7 p.m., Wednesday. It will be the fifth of six straight home games for the Cougars during the month of December.
The Cougars are 3-1 on the current stand.
Following their game against the Horned Frogs, the Cougars wrap up their stand when they meet Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m., Dec. 29, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
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 time the two teams have met in basketball.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman reached 20 points for the eighth time in nine games this season and the 17th time during his career.
* With 16 rebounds, junior forward Maurice McNeil posted a season best by any Cougar player. His total topped his previous high of 14 boards against Nicholls State during the season opener on Nov. 17.
* Freshman forward Bryce Clark made the first start of his career... Freshman forward Kirk Van Slyke made his first appearance as a reserve after starting the first eight games.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 72nd consecutive game and his 45th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.