Jan. 15, 2010
HOUSTON COUGARS (9-7 2-1 C-USA) at EAST CAROLINA PIRATES (6-11 0-3 C-USA)
Jan. 16, 2010 Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (8,000) Greenville, N.C. 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. (EST)
RADIO: Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network NewsRadio KTRH 740 AM-Houston Tom Franklin, PxP
Pregame show begins at 5:45 p.m. (CST)/6:45 p.m. (EST)
INTERNET AUDIO : live audio broadcast
TELEVISION: WITN-TV 7 Patrick Kinas, PxP Billy Weaver, analyst
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Winners of two of their last three games, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 7 p.m. (EST)/6 p.m. (CST), Saturday, against Conference USA-rival East Carolina in Minges Coliseum.
The Cougars (9-7 2-1 C-USA) enter this weekend's game on the heels of an impressive 75-65 win against league-foe UTEP on Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion. In a series marked by close, intense games, the Cougars enjoyed the biggest win by any team in the previous 10 meetings.
Senior guard Kelvin Lewis scored 13 points with three 3-pointers and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career. Junior forward Maurice McNeil added 12 points and 10 boards for his third double-double this season.
Senior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players against the Miners with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added six rebounds and three assists. With his first 3-pointer of the night, the Houston native became the 43rd and newest member of Houston's 1,000-Point Club, reaching that milestone in only one-and-a-half years.
This season, Coleman leads the Cougars, the league and the nation with 25.0 points and 3.4 steals per game. He is one of only three players to rank among the league's top-10 individual leaders in both scoring and rebounding.
Lewis ranks second on the team with 17.4 points per game and, combined with Coleman, give the Cougars two of Conference USA's top-three scorers. No other team in the league has two players among the top eight.
McNeil ranks a close second with 7.1 rebounds per game, while sophomore point guard Desmond Wade leads the team with 5.9 assists per game and ranks fifth in the nation in assist-turnover ratio.
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. (CST)/6:45 p.m. (EST).
Fans should note that Saturday's broadcast home recently was changed due to the NFL playoffs.
Fans can follow live stats from Saturday's game by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.
ABOUT EAST CAROLINA
East Carolina enters Saturday's game with a 6-11 overall mark, 0-3 in C-USA games, following a77-57 loss at Memphis on Wednesday night.
In that game, junior guard Brock Young led the Pirates with 21 points and three assists, while junior guard Jontae Sherrod added 11 points and tied with junior center Chad Wynn for the team lead with five rebounds.
This season, Young leads the Pirates with 16.4 points and 6.2 per game and is one of four ECU players averaging double-digit points. Morrow ranks second with 12.4 points but tops the team with 6.7 rebounds per contest. Sherrod adds 11.5 points per game, while junior guard/forward Jamar Abrams ranks fourth with 10.6 points per contest.
Now in his third season at East Carolina, Mack McCarthy has compiled a 30-47 (.390) record at the helm of the Pirates' bench. In more than 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach, McCarthy has assembled a 339-224 (.602) career record. He previously served as the head coach at Chattanooga (1985-97) and VCU (1998-02) before taking over at East Carolina in 2007.
McCarthy is 1-1 against the Cougars during his career.
SERIES HISTORY vs. EAST CAROLINA
For the seventh straight season, the Cougars meet East Carolina in men's basketball. The Cougars own a 6-2 lead in the series, which began Feb. 23, 2002, and has been played at least once every season since the 2003-04 campaign.
Entering Saturday's game, Houston has won six of the last seven games against the Pirates. Only an 84-83 loss on March 1, 2008, in Greenville, N.C., prevents a much longer Cougar streak.
The early series was close with no team winning by more than 10 points through the first five games. However, the Cougars have enjoyed tremendous success in their last two victories, winning by an average of 16.0 points per game.
The series is tied at 2-2 in North Carolina after the Pirates claimed an 84-83 win on March 1, 2008.
That loss snapped the Cougars' two-game road winning streak against the Pirates. Houston has not won in Greenville, N.C.., since a 63-46 setback on Feb. 23, 2002, in the first game between the two teams.
The Cougars returns to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion when they play host to league-foe UCF at 7 p.m., Wednesday.
Junior quarterback Case Keenum, who threw for a school record 5,671 yards and added 44 touchdowns, will receive the 2009 Quarterback Award presented by the College Football Performance Award at the beginning of halftime.
In addition, Wednesday's game will be Guys Night Out. For only $20, fans will receive two general-admission tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas. Also, Cougar Dolls posters will be given away throughout the game with a Cougar Dolls autograph session on the concourse following the game.
From there, the team hits the road again to face C-USA rival Memphis at 7 p.m., Jan.23, at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. That game will be televised live on ESPN2.
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.