Men's Basketball Edged by Iowa State on Sunday

Dec. 28, 2008

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HOUSTON - Junior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a career high 28 points and added five steals, but it would not be quite enough as Iowa State escaped with a 71-67 win over the University of Houston men's basketball team Sunday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Trailing 27-26 at the halftime break, the Cyclones opened the second half with a 15-9 run that handed them the lead for good. Although ISU would never relinquish the lead, the Cougars continued to battle and never trailed by more than six points until the final minute of the game.

Twice, the Cougars pulled to within two points late but were unable to tie the game. Trailing 64-59, Coleman converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with his final for a 64-62 ISU lead with three minutes remaining.

ISU's Diante Garrett drilled a bucket with 2:34 remaining to push the Cyclone lead back to four points and, after a pair of missed Cougar free throws, Brackins nailed a jumper and then hit a pair of free throws with 25 seconds remaining to give ISU a 70-62 lead, their biggest advantage of the game.

However, even with little time remaining, the Cougars had one last rally left in them. Coleman nailed two more free throws and after stealing an ISU pass, assisted on Kelvin Lewis; 3-pointer with only 12 seconds remaining to pull the Cougars to within 70-67.

ISU's Lucca Staiger was fouled with nine seconds left but missed the front end of his 1-and-1 attempt, giving the Cougars one last try to tie the game. But after racing the up the floor, Coleman's 3-point attempt at the top of the key was off the mark to give the Cyclones the win.

With the loss, the Cougars fell to 7-2. The loss also snapped the Cougars' seven-game overall winning streak and was the program's first home loss since an 89-78 setback to #1/1 Memphis on Jan. 30, 2008.

Iowa State improved to 8-4 and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cougars in the all-time series.

Playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career, Coleman converted 10-of-24 attempts from the field and was a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line to lead the Cougars. His point total was the highest by any Cougar this season since he finished with 24 at Middle Tennessee on Dec. 2.

Lewis, playing all 40 minutes as well, finished with 15 points, while senior center Marcus Cousin topped the Cougars with 11 rebounds.

Iowa State's Craig Brackins led all players with 38 points and 14 rebounds. He became the first Cougar opponent to top 35 points since Louisiana-Monroe's Mike Smith posted 36 points on Dec. 15, 1999.

Garrett finished with 12 points, while Justin Hamilton added 12 rebounds in the win.

In the first half, the Cougars jumped out to a 10-4 lead before the Cyclones rallied to take a 23-19 lead on Lucca Staiger's jumper at the 3:25 mark. The Cougars answered with eight straight points with six courtesy of Coleman to regain the lead before Staiger's 3-pointer with nine seconds trimmed the UH lead to 27-26 at the halftime break.

There will be no rest for the weary as the Cougars play host to Massachusetts at 1 p.m., Tuesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans should note that the starting time of the UMass game recently was changed from earlier published schedules.

The time was moved up to accommodate those fans who wished to see the Cougar Basketball team play and still see the Cougar Football team face Air Force during the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth at 11 a.m., Dec. 31.

The UMass game also will be a part of Fan Appreciation Day with all fans being admitted free of charge. Seating will be available in all seats not sold to season-ticket holders. No ticket is required for admittance to the UMass game.

Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Willis Wilson providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 12:45 p.m.

Massachusetts enters Tuesday's game after a 64-57 home win over IUPUI on Saturday. That win pushed the Minutemen's winning streak to four straight games after dropping five of their first six games to open the season.

Ricky Harris leads UMass with 20.6 points per game and is one of four players averaging double digits in scoring. Tony Gaffney is second on the team with 11.9 points per game and leads all players with 11.9 rebounds per game.

Former Memphis assistant coach Derek Kellogg is in his first season at the head of the UMass bench. This will be his first game against the Cougars as a head coach.



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