Balanced Offense Not Enough for Men's Hoops vs. Louisiana Tech

Dec. 29, 2009

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HOUSTON - Despite a balanced offensive attack that saw five players score at least 12 points, the University of Houston men's basketball team dropped a 99-94 decision Louisiana Tech on Tuesday during the finale of a month-long home stand at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Junior guard Adam Brown returned to the starting lineup to post 20 points, including six 3-pointers, while senior guard Aubrey Coleman, the nation's leading scorer, added 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Senior guard Kelvin Lewis posted 19 points with four 3-pointers, and junior forward Maurice McNeil added 12 point and seven rebounds, but it would not be enough to overcome the Bulldogs.

Louisiana Tech connected on 51.4 percent (36-of-70) from the field and outrebounded the Cougars 55-32 to win for the first time in three meetings against the Cougars.

In a close game that never saw either team build more than an 8-point lead, Louisiana Tech took the momentum and a 47-46 lead into the locker room when Kyle Gibson's 3-pointer at the buzzer fell through the net.

In the second half, the Cougars built a 59-58 advantage on Brown's trey with 15:56 remaining in the game. However, the Bulldogs used an 8-0 run to take a 66-59 lead. Although they would tie the game on two occasions later, Houston would never reclaim the lead. After knotting the game at 72-72, the Cougars would get no closer than two points the rest of the way.

Louisiana Tech appeared to seize control of the game with a 93-85 lead following Magnum Rolle's two free throws with 2:24 left. But the Cougars still had some fight in them, scoring the next four points on free throws from Lewis and a jumper by Coleman to pulled to within 93-89 with 1:52 to go.

Brown hit his sixth and final 3-pointer to pull Houston to within 97-94 with 24 seconds left, but Olu Ashaolu raced ahead of the defense and snared the outlet pass for a dunk for the final margin of victory.

Rolle led all players with 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Louisiana Tech. Ashaolu added 17 points and a game-high 21 rebounds, while Gibson finished with 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Jamel Guyton added 15 points in the win.

With the loss, the Cougars fell to 7-4 and wrapped up the six-game homestand during the month of December with a 4-2 mark. Louisiana Tech improved to 12-2.

The Cougars hit the road to play UTSA in San Antonio, Texas, at 1 p.m., Friday, at the UTSA Convocation Center. From there, the team continues to brief road swing at 1 p.m., Sunday, against Big 12 Conference member Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Fans can purchase basketball 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.

* Tuesday's game was the first time the two teams squared off since the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional at Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tenn., on March 17, 1984.
* Houston fell to 2-1 in the all-time series against Louisiana Tech.
* Head coach Tom Penders moved into a tie with Hugh Durham (Florida State, Georgia, Jacksonville, 1967-05) for 16th place in NCAA Division I career history with 1,062 games coached... Up next in the NCAA records book is Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, who coached 1,066 games from 1931-52 and 1954-72.
* With 19 points, senior guard Kelvin Lewis moved into 31st place in Houston career history with 1,128 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Kenny Younger, who scored 1,131 points from 1997 to 2000.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 74th consecutive game and made his 47th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.
* Junior guard Adam Brown recorded his third 20-point game of the season and his second straight after totaling 21 points against TCU on Dec. 23.



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