Jan. 2, 2010
HOUSTON COUGARS (7-5 0-0 C-USA) at IOWA STATE CYCLONES (9-3 0-0 Big 12)
Jan. 3, 2010 James H. Hilton Coliseum (14,356) Ames, Iowa 1 p.m.
RADIO: Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network SportsTalk 790 AM-Houston Tom Franklin, PxP
INTERNET AUDIO : live video broadcast at UHCougars.com
TELEVISION: ESPN360 B.J. Schaben, PxP Kevin Lehmann, analyst
INTERNET VIDEO : live video broadcast at ESPN360
LIVE STATS: Live Stats
AMES, Iowa - After a heartbreaking loss on Friday, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 1 p.m., Sunday, when it faces Big 12 Conference member Iowa State inside James H. Hilton Coliseum.
The Cougars (7-5) overcame a 12-point, second-half deficit against UTSA and had a chance to win the game with just seconds left, but junior guard Zamal Nixon's layup at the buzzer was just off the mark.
Nixon posted a career-high 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting against the Roadrunners to lead the Cougars. He was one of four Cougars to score in double digits, including senior guards Kelvin Lewis and Aubrey Coleman and sophomore point guard Desmond Wade.
This season, Coleman leads the Cougars, Conference USA and the nation with 25.3 points and 3.5 steals per game. The Houston native has recorded three 30-point games in 2009-10 and needs only 77 points to become the newest member of Houston's 1,000-Point Club.
Lewis ranks second on the team with 18.4 points per game and ranks among the national leaders with 4.0 3-pointers per game and a 46.6 3-point percentage.
Wade leads the Cougars and ranks second on the team with 5.9 assists per game. With only 22 turnovers, the Linden, N.J., native also ranks among the national leaders with a 3.2-1 assist-turnover ratio.
Fans can hear Sunday's game live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 12:45 p.m.
Fans can follow live stats from Monday's game by clicking the Live Stats link at UHCougars.com.
ABOUT IOWA STATE
Iowa State enters Sunday's game well rested after a lengthy break. The Cyclones have not played since an 83-52 win against North Dakota State on Dec. 22, the team's third consecutive win.
In that game, Marquis Gilstrap led six Cyclones in double figures with 16 points and added a game-high 13 rebounds. LaRon Dendy came off the bench to post 13 points, while Diante Garrett and Craig Brackins each added 12 points. Chris Colvin and Scott Christopherson also added 10 points apiece in the win.
This season, Brackins leads Iowa State with 17.5 points per game and ranks second on the team with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Gilstrap is second among the Cyclones with 14.7 points per game but tops the team with 8.9 rebounds per contest.
Greg McDermott is in his fourth year at the helm of the Iowa State bench, posting a 53-54 (.495) record during that time. In more than 15 seasons as a head coach, McDermott has compiled a 264-181 (.587) all-time record. He previously served as head coach at Wayne State (1994-00), North Dakota State (2000-01) and Northern Iowa (2001-06) before taking over at Iowa State.
McDermott is 1-0 against the Cougars during his career.
SERIES HISTORY vs. IOWA STATE
For the second straight season, the Cougars meet Iowa State in men's basketball. Houston owns a 3-2 (.600) lead in the all-time series, which began on Dec. 3, 1956. However, the Cyclones can boast of the most recent success after taking a 71-67 win on Dec. 28, 2008, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
That loss snapped the Cougars' three-game winning streak against Iowa State.
Sunday's game will be the first time the two teams have met in Iowa since the 1988-89 season. The two teams have split the previous two meetings in Iowa. The Cyclones claimed a 92-73 win on Dec. 3, 1956, in the first game of the series.
Following a lengthy break in the series, the Cougars evened their mark in Iowa with an 89-82 win on Nov. 26, 1988.
The Cougars wrap up their road swing and open their Conference USA season when they travel across town to Tudor Fieldhouse to face Rice at 8 p.m., Wednesday, in a game televised by CSS.
Houston continues its C-USA slate with a pair of home games inside the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars start their stand at 6 p.m., Saturday, against preseason favorite Tulsa in a game televised by CBS College Sports. The Cougars then play host to UTEP at 7 p.m., Jan. 13.