Men's Basketball Set to Face Southern Miss on Saturday Afternoon
Jan. 16, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 4 p.m., Saturday, when they meet Conference USA rival Southern Miss inside Reed Green Coliseum.
The Cougars (11-3, 2-0 C-USA) comes into the game after an impressive 94-86 win at C-USA rival UTEP on Wednesday in El Paso, Texas. Against the Miners, the Cougars shot 34-of-41 from the free throw line, scoring their final 14 points from the charity stripe.
Junior guard Kelvin Lewis went 17-of-18 from the free throw line in that game, tying for the third-most free throws made in UH single-game history. The Fort Worth, Texas, native finished with a career- and UH-season-high 29 points as the Cougars won for the first time in El Paso.
This season, Lewis, leads the Cougars and ranks third in the league with 19.3 points per game.
With Wednesday's win, the Cougars joined Memphis as the only unbeaten teams in C-USA games. It marked the second straight season but only the third time since 1993-94 that the Cougars opened their conference schedule with back-to-back wins.
Junior guard Aubrey Coleman posted 24 points and 12 rebounds for his team-leading fifth double-double in the last seven games. Coleman ranks second among the Cougars with 17.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and stands in the top-six C-USA individual leaders in both categories, making him the only player in the league to accomplish that feat.
The Cougars bring a two-game winning streak into Saturday's game and have won five of their last six games against the Golden Eagles. Only a 74-69 Southern Miss win in Hattiesburg on Feb. 19, 2007, prevents a longer Cougar win streak.
The series began during the 1967-68 season with a 92-71 Cougar win in Houston. It was the first of five straight UH wins to open the series.
A year ago, the Cougars enjoyed a 95-67 win in Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 27, 2008. In that victory, guard Robert McKiver scored a career-high and Hofheinz Pavilion-record-tying 52 points to lead the Cougars to the win.
Although the Cougars have enjoyed success against Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles have the upper hand in on their home court. Southern Miss has posted a 7-3 (.700) all-time record in Hattiesburg, including a 74-69 victory on Feb. 19, 2007, in the most recent game there.
Jeremy Wise leads the Golden Eagles with 17.8 points per game, while Courtney Beasley is tops with 6.5 rebounds per game and has added 12.9 points per contest. R.L. Horton ranks third on the team with 12.0 points per game.
Now in his 19th season overall, head coach Larry Eustachy has posted a 330-213 (.608) all-time record during his career. He is in his fifth year at Southern Miss, tallying a 70-68 (.507) record in that time. Eustachy is 1-5 (.167) against the Cougars.