Dec. 30, 2008
HOUSTON - Junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun scored a career-high 26 points, while junior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his second double-double in the last three games to lead the University of Houston men's basketball team to an 80-54 win over Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Playing all 40 minutes in a game for the first time in his career, Calhoun connected on 10-of-19 shots, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Cougars to the win. His total topped his previous best of 21 points set as a member of St. John's against Providence late in the 2006-07 season.
Coleman finished with 16 points and a team-high 12 points for the second double-double of his career. The Houston native connected on 7-of-18 shots from the field while dishing out three assists with two steals. He finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds at Toledo on Dec. 20.
With the Cougar Football team competing against Air Force on Wednesday morning during the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Tuesday's basketball game was part of Fan Appreciation Day with all fans being admitted free of charge. A season-high crowd of 3,623 saw the Cougars even the all-time series against the Minutemen at 1-1.
Things did not appear to go the Cougars' way early as UMass jumped out to an 8-2 lead less than three minutes into the game. However, the Cougars took off on a 14-5 run over the next 5:16 to grab the lead for good. Five different UH players scored during the rally with Lewis and Calhoun each leading the way with five points apiece.
UMass pulled to within 18-17 on Anthony Gurley's layup at the 9:23 mark, but that would be as close as the Minutemen would get the rest of the way. The Cougars used another 14-5 run over the next 3:08 to build a 10-point lead and eventually took a 43-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Cougars used a 22-7 run to open the half, building a 65-40 lead on Lewis' jumper at the 11:42 mark. Calhoun led the way with eight points, including a 3-pointer during that run, while Coleman posted six points.
While the Cougar offense was hitting half of its 32 shots in the second half, the UH defense also did a solid job by limiting the Minutemen to 26.5 percent shooting from the field.
Junior guard Kelvin Lewis remained a steady offensive presence for the Cougars with 20 points, reaching that mark in a game for his team-leading fifth time this season. The Fort Worth native nailed 8-of-13 attempts from the field with a pair of treys.
Senior center Marcus Cousin scored six points but was a defensive force for the Cougars, grabbing nine rebounds while swatting five UMass shots in 38 minutes.
UMass guard Anthony Gurley scored 17 points and finished with seven rebounds to lead the Minutemen. Forward Tony Gaffney led all players with 16 rebounds, while guard Ricky Harris added 11 points in the loss.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to action at 3 p.m., Saturday when they meet Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. That game will be carried live on CSS, the first of four Cougar regular-season games to be broadcast on television.
Fans also 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 12:45 p.m.