Men's Basketball Ready to Go against UTEP this Weekend

Jan. 20, 2011

UTEP MINERS (15-4 • 3-1 C-USA)
at HOUSTON COUGARS (11-6 • 3-1 C-USA)
 Time  7 p.m. • Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011
 Location  Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas
 Tickets  Ticket Information
 Series History  UTEP leads 10-8
 Houston leads 5-1 in Houston
 Last Time  Houston won 81-73, C-USA Championship title game,
 BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla., March 13, 2010
 Radio  No Live Streaming
 Houston Sports Network • SportsTalk 790 AM • KBME
 Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
 Broadcast begins at 6:45 p.m.
 Television  Live Streaming
 Time Warner Cable (El Paso only)
 Jon Teicher, PxP; Steve Yellen, analyst
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 UTEP Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   Facebook Twitter

HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team rides a wave of momentum into this weekend's Conference USA showdown against UTEP.

The Cougars (11-6 • 3-1) play host to the Miners at 7 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion. To date, four teams in C-USA have posted a 3-1 league mark. Saturday's game features half of those squads.

Winners of their last three games and five of their last six, the Cougars enter this weekend's game on the heels of a 64-57 win against Tulsa on Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

In a game that feature big scoring runs by each team throughout the Cougars, the Cougars pulled away at the end to halt a three-game losing streak to the Golden Hurricane. Senior guard Zamal Nixon led four Cougars in double digits with 14 points, including a 12-for-12 performance from the free throw line.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native connected on four free throws in the final 16 seconds to ice the win.

Junior guard Darian Thibodeaux finished with three 3-pointers and 11 points. It was the sixth time in the last eight games that the Dallas native has drained at least three treys in a contest. He has connected on better than 52 percent of his long-range shots in the last eight contests and moved into the C-USA top-10 individual leaders in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game.

The Cougars also were boosted by the return of sophomore forward Kendrick Washington, who scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting with a pair of rebounds. The Shreveport, La., native missed the previous four games due to a staph infection in his left elbow.

Washington ranks third on the team with 11.2 points and second with 6.0 rebounds per game.

This season, senior guard Adam Brown leads the Cougars with 14.5 points per game, while junior forward Maurice McNeil ranks second with 12.9 points per game and adds a team-high 8.3 rebounds per contest.

Fans will enjoy the halftime show as nationally renowned hypnotist Tom Silver will pull volunteers out of the crowd at Hofheinz Pavilion to take part in his show. Watch as fans selected for the show become celebrities like Elvis and Lady Gaga, disco or river dance and act like martians.

Fans will not want to miss this funny and exciting entertainment as volunteers act like famous celebrities and much more.

Saturday'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 serving as analyst. The pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m.

The game also will be televised on Time Warner Cable in El Paso with Jon Teicher calling the play-by-play action and Steve Yellen serving as analyst.

Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans also can purchase the Pick-4 Pack for only $28. That ticket package is good for fans' choice of any four of Houston's remaining home games.

Fans also can purchase the Houston Hoops 4-Pack for the UTEP (Saturday) and UAB (Feb. 26) games at Hofheinz Pavilion. For only $48, fans can receive 4 general admission tickets, 4 small drinks, 4 hot dogs and 4 hats (selected styles) from the UH Fan Shop for only $48.

If more than four tickets are needed, each additional ticket purchased will cost only $12 each and will receive the extra items.

The Houston Hoops 4-Pack will not be available on game days at the Hofheinz Pavilion ticket windows.

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.

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

UTEP brings a 15-4 overall record and 3-1 league mark into this weekend's game. The Miners have won their last two games and six of their last seven.

UTEP has not played since a 66-43 win against Rice on Nov. 15, in El Paso, Texas. Against the Owls, senior forward Jeremy Williams scored 14 points, while senior guard Christian Polk added 11 points with four rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Randy Culpepper added 12 points with two rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Julyan Stone added a game-high 10 rebounds.

This season, Culpepper leads the Miners and ranks third in the league with 19.7 points per game. Polk ranks second with 12.0 points per game, while Williams has posted a 10.5 points per game. Stone tops the Miners with 7.0 rebounds 5.4 assists per game

Now in his 17th season overall, head coach Tim Floyd owns a 307-179 (.651) career record. He is 15-4 (.789) during his first season at UTEP. Floyd previously served as the head coach at Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94), Iowa State (1994-98) and USC (2005-09).

Saturday's game will be the first time that he has faced the Cougars.

This marks the sixth straight season the two teams will meet on the hardwood. UTEP owns a 10-8 (.556) lead in the all-time series, which began Dec. 28, 1979.

The series has been played at least once every season since the 2005-06 campaign. The two teams have squared off three times in each of the last three years, playing on each other's home court and at the Conference USA Championship.

UTEP joins UAB and Memphis as the only current C-USA schools that have a winning all-time record against the Cougars.

The Cougars have posted a 5-1 (.833) record against the Miners in Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston enjoyed a 75-65 win in Houston on Jan. 13, 2010, in the most recent action there.

The Cougars meet crosstown rival Rice at 8 p.m., Wednesday, inside Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. That game will be televised live on CSS.

From there, the team wraps up the month at 5 p.m. (CST), Jan. 29, when they face East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. The showdown against the Pirates also will be broadcast live on CSS.



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