Men's Hoops Ready for ESPN2 Showdown at Memphis on Saturday

Jan. 21, 2010

HOUSTON COUGARS (10-8 • 3-2 C-USA) at MEMPHIS TIGERS (13-5 • 3-1 C-USA)
Jan. 23, 2010 • FedExForum (18,400) • Memphis, Tenn. • 7 p.m.

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • SportsTalk 790 AM-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
Pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m.
INTERNET AUDIO: live audio broadcast
TELEVISION: ESPN2 • Terry Gannon, PxP • Stephen Bardo, analyst
LIVE STATS: GameTracker

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action this weekend when it squares off against Conference USA-rival Memphis at 7 p.m., Saturday, at FedExForum.

The Cougars enter this weekend's contest on the heels of a tough 78-71 loss to league foe UCF on Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion. Poor shooting doomed the Cougars, who connected on only 25.4 percent of their shots from the field, and fell behind 25-9 early.

Senior guard Aubrey Coleman, who reigns as the national leader in both scoring (25.3) and steals (3.3), led the Cougars with 30 points, including 16-of-18 from the free throw line, against the Knights. It was the seventh 30-point game of the Houston native's career, tying for seventh in school history.

Senior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second on the team with 17.0 points per game and give the Cougars two of the league's top-four scoring individual leaders.

Junior forward Maurice McNeil averaged 8.1 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game to rank eighth in the league in the latter category.

Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade leads the team with 101 assists, the second straight season the Linden, N.J., native has reached triple digits in that category. He became only the third player in school history to accomplish that feat during each of his first two seasons, joining Derrick Daniels and Rob Williams.

Fans can hear Saturday's game live on SportsTalk 790 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 6:45 p.m.

Fans also can watch the game live on ESPN2 with Terry Gannon calling the play-by-play action and Stephen Bardo providing analysis. The game also can be seen live on the Internet at ESPN360.

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

Memphis enters this weekend's game on the heels of a 72-67 loss to Conference USA-rival UTEP on Wednesday at FedExForum in Tennessee. That loss snapped the Tigers' 64-game winning in C-USA play and was the team's first loss to a league rival since an 80-74 decision at UAB on March 2, 2006.

The Tigers had not lost a conference game in the regular season or postseason since dropping an 80-74 decision at Alabama-Birmingham on March 2, 2006.

That loss also snapped Memphis' overall three-game winning streak.

Against the Miners, guard Elliot Williams led Memphis with 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting and added five rebounds and four assists. Guard Wesley Witherspoon added 12 points, while Pierre Henderson-Niles added nine rebounds in the loss.

This season, Williams leads the Tigers with 20.1 points per game and is one of four players averaging double-digit points. Witherspoon ranks second with 10.8 points per game, while Roburt Sallie and Doneal Mack each average 10.2 points per contest. Will Coleman paces the team with 5.6 rebounds per game, while Henderson-Niles is a close second at 5.3

Josh Pastner is in his first year as a collegiate head coach at Memphis, posting a 13-5 (.722) record during that time. He previously served for 12 years at Arizona as a player, staff member and assistant coach.

For the 16th consecutive season, the Cougars will meet Memphis on the hardwood. The Tigers own a 23-10 (.697) lead in the all-time series, which began on Dec. 8, 1956, and has been played at least once every season since the 1994-95 campaign.

Memphis is one of only three current Conference USA teams (UAB and UTEP) that can boast a winning all-time record against the Cougars. The Tigers bring a 10-game winning streak against the Cougars into Saturday's game. UH has not defeated the Tigers since a 66-53 decision on Feb. 5, 2005, at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Memphis has posted a 14-3 (.824) all-time record against the Cougars in Tennessee. The Cougars will be looking to snap a nine-game road losing streak against the Tigers this weekend. UH has not enjoyed a win against Memphis in Tennessee since a 76-73 victory on Feb. 16, 2002.

The Cougars take some time off from competitive action before playing host to Conference USA-rival Marshall at 5 p.m., Jan. 30, at Hofheinz Pavilion. That game will be part of a doubleheader with the Houston women's basketball team, which faces league-foe SMU at 2 p.m., Jan. 30.

Fans should note that the starting time for the women's game on Jan. 30 recently was pushed back one hour to accommodate fans wishing to see both the men's and women's games.

From there, the team hits the road to meet UTEP for the second time this season at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas at 9 p.m. (CST)/8 p.m. (MST), Feb. 3. The Cougars claimed a 75-65 win on Jan. 13 in Hofheinz Pavilion, the biggest victory for either squad in the previous 10 contests.

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.

Fans are invited to each broadcast of The Pulse with Tom Penders from various restaurants throughout Houston.

The radio show airs live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays for the remainder of the season. The next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders will broadcast live on Thursday, Jan. 28, from Chili's Too (4800 Calhoun) on the UH campus.

The show can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com and will be hosted by the "Voice of the Cougars" Tom Franklin.

Fans are invited to join Penders and Franklin at the selected restaurant each week as the duo discusses recent Cougar Basketball action and upcoming games, college basketball, the world of sports and much more.

Fans also can click the Ask Coach Penders button on the main page at UHCougars.com< to submit a question that could be asked on the show.



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