Men's Basketball Welcomes Tulsa in C-USA Home Opener on Saturday

Jan. 8, 2010

Jan. 9, 2010 • Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas • 6 p.m.

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • SportsTalk 790 AM-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
INTERNET AUDIO : live audio broadcast
TELEVISION: CBS College Sports (DirecTV ch. 613, Dish Network ch. 152) • Dave Ryan, PxP • Pete Gillen, analyst
INTERNET VIDEO : live video broadcast
LIVE STATS: GameTracker

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HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team opens its Conference USA home schedule at 6 p.m., Saturday, when they play host to Tulsa inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars (8-6 • 1-0 C-USA) enter this weekend's contest on the heels of a dominating 83-66 win at league-foe Rice on Wednesday. Against the Owls, junior forward Maurice McNeil led the Cougars with 23 points 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for his third double-double of the season.

Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade enjoyed the first double-double of his career with 11 points and a career-best-tying 10 assists. He became the first Cougar since Lanny Smith on March 15, 2006, against BYU, to record a points-assists double-double.

This season, senior guard Aubrey Coleman continues to lead the Cougars, C-USA and the nation with 25.5 points and 3.3 steals per game. The Houston native finished with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting against the Owls and enjoyed his 11th 20-point game of the season.

With 7.3 rebounds per game, Coleman also is one of only two players to rank among the league's top-nine individual leaders in both categories.

Senior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second on the team with 18.1 points per game and leads the country with 3.9 3-pointers per game. The Fort Worth, Texas, native scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while playing all 40 minutes for the fourth time this season at Rice earlier in the week.

Fans can hear Saturday's game live on NewsRadio KTRH 740 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 5:45 p.m.

Fans should note that this is a departure from the Cougars' regular broadcast home due to the NFL playoffs.

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

For the fifth straight season, the Cougars will meet Tulsa on the hardwood. Houston owns a 19-18 lead in the all-time series, which began Feb. 10, 1951, and has been played at least once every year since the 2005-06 campaign.

The Cougars will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak to the Golden Hurricane during Wednesday's game. Houston has not enjoyed a win against Tulsa since a 92-81 decision on Feb. 6, 2008, in Hofheinz Pavilion

The Cougars have assembled an 11-6 record at home against the Golden Hurricane. In the most recent action in Houston, the Cougars enjoyed a 92-81 win on Feb. 6, 2008.

Houston has been a good place for the Cougars against Tulsa. The Cougars have won their last four and eight of their last nine home encounters against Tulsa dating back to 1956. Only a 76-69 setback on Feb. 9, 1963, prevents a much longer Cougar home winning streak.

Tulsa brings an 11-3 record into Saturday's game following a 73-59 against Tulane in its C- USA opener on Wednesday. In that game, senior guard Ben Uzoh led four Golden Hurricane players in double digits with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a game-high six assists. Guard Justin Hurtt added 14 points with three 3-pointers, while senior center Jerome Jordan added 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Bryson Pope came off the bench to post 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

This season, Uzoh leads Tulsa with 16.6 points and 4.5 assists per game, while Hurtt ranks second with 14.7 points per contest. Jordan tops the squad with 8.7 rebounds per game and ranks third among the Golden Hurricane with 13.9 points per game.

Saturday's game will only be Tulsa's second game on the road this season and only its fourth away from Oklahoma. The Golden Hurricane have posted a perfect 11-0 record at home in 2009-10.

Doug Wojcik is in his fifth year at the helm of the Tulsa bench, posting a 92-56 (.622) record during that time. He is 2-3 (.400) against the Cougars in his career.

The Cougars continue their brief home stand at 7 p.m., Wednesday, against UTEP at Hofheinz Pavilion. From there, the team hits the road to meet C-USA rival East Carolina at 6 p.m. (CST), Jan. 16, in Greenville, N.C.

Fans can purchase men's basketball tickets online 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.



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