Men's Hoops Opens Conference USA Play at Southern Miss

Jan. 3, 2011

 Time  8 p.m. • Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2011
 Location  Reed-Green Coliseum (8,095) • Hattiesburg, Miss.
 Series History  Houston leads 16-14
 Last Time  Houston won 74-66, C-USA Championship Semifinals,  Tulsa, Okla., March 12, 2010
 Radio  Listen
 Houston Sports Network • SportsTalk 790 AM • KBME
 Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
 Broadcast begins at 7:45 p.m.
 Television  Watch
 CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129/Check local listings)
 Richard Cross, PxP; Brian Oliver, analyst
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Southern Miss Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   Facebook Twitter

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - After closing out the year 2010 with a dominating win, the University of Houston men's basketball team looks to open the year 2011 in impressive fashion when it opens Conference USA play against Southern Miss at 8 p.m., Wednesday, at Reed-Green Coliseum.

The Cougars (8-5) begin their league slate following a dominating 85-48 win against Rogers State on Thursday inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It was the Cougars' biggest win since November 2008 and the fewest points allowed by the Cougars since December 2006.

The Cougar defense also held the Hillcats without a 3-pointer, the first time Houston accomplished that feat since December 1997, ending a streak of 387 consecutive games.

Senior forward Maurice McNeil led all players against Rogers State with 25 points and 13 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season and the 12th of his career. The New York native leads the Cougars and ranks third in the league with 9.3 rebounds per game and ranks second among the Cougars with 13.5 points per game.

Senior guard Adam Brown leads the Cougars with 14.2 points per game and ranks among the C-USA individual leaders in scoring, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, 3-point field goals made per game, assists, assist-turnover ratio and minutes per game.

Senior guard Zamal Nixon leads the league with 2.4 steals per contest and ranks second in C-USA with 5.2 assists per game. In the Cougars' last three games, the New York native has dished out a team-high 26 assists, including a career-best 11 against Sam Houston State, with only seven turnovers.

Wednesday's game can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM KBME with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes as analyst. The pregame show begins at 7:45 p.m.

The game also can be seen live on CSS with Richard Cross calling the play-by-play action and Brian Oliver serving as analyst. Fans in Houston can watch the game on Houston Comcast channel 129. Fans in other areas should check their local listings for broadcasts.

Fans can follow live stats from Wednesday's game by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.

Southern Miss brings an 11-2 record into Wednesday's game. The Golden Eagles have won their last two games and six of the last seven.

In its most recent action, USM won back-to-back contests against Mississippi Valley State and Savannah State to win its own Hardwood Club Holiday Tournament.

During Thursday's 64-54 win against Savannah State, senior forward Gary Flowers led all players with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard R.L. Horton added 13 points, while junior guard Angelo Johnson finished with four assists.

Flowers leads the Golden Eagles with 20.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Horton ranks second on the team with 11.8 points per game. Johnson leads the Golden Eagles with 4.8 assists per game.

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his seventh year at Southern Miss, 20th season overall. He has posted a 366-241 career record and led the Golden Eagles to a 106-96 mark during his tenure in Hattiesburg.

Eustachy is 3-6 (.333) during his career against Houston with all of those games coming at Southern Miss.

He previously was head coach at Idaho (1990-93), Utah State (1993-98) and Iowa State (1998-03).

This marks the 15th straight season that both teams will meet on the hardwood. Houston owns a 16-14 lead in the all-time series, which began Nov. 30, 1968.

The series has been played at least once every year since the 1996-97 season when both teams began competing in C-USA.

Southern Miss has posted an 8-3 (.727) record against the Cougars in Hattiesburg. Houston has dropped its last two decisions at Reed-Green Coliseum and not won in Hattiesburg since a 75-53 victory on Feb. 12, 2005.

In the most recent trip to Mississippi, the Cougars dropped an 83-76 decision on Jan. 17, 2009.

The Cougars continue their C-USA schedule when they play host to No. 19/21 UCF at 4 p.m., Saturday, in Hofheinz Pavilion.

From there, the team hits the road again to meet SMU at 2 p.m., Jan. 15, at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans can choose from a variety of different ticket packages that best suit their needs, including the Weekend Package (8 Saturday home games) and the Conference USA Package (8 C-USA home games).

Fans have several options when ordering their men's basketball tickets. They can visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center by the UH Fan Shop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or click the Tickets link at UHCougars.com to buy tickets today.



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