Men's Basketball to Meet Arizona at 5 p.m. (CST), Saturday in Tucson

Jan. 23, 2009

HOUSTON COUGARS (12-4 • 3-1 C-USA) at ARIZONA WILDCATS (11-8 • 2-5 Pac-10)
Jan. 24, 2009 • McKale Center (14,545) • Tucson, Ariz. • 5 p.m. (CST)/4 p.m. (MST)

RADIO: Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
TELEVISION: Fox Sports Arizona (DirecTV channel 686/Dish Network 415) • Dave Sitton, PxP; Bob Elliott (analyst); Sean Mooney, sideline
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at UHCougars.com
LIVE STATS: Live Stats at UHCougars.com
Houston Notes vs. Arizona (Jan. 24, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Arizona Notes vs. Houston (Jan. 24, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Conference USA Notebook (Jan. 23, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

TUCSON, Ariz. - Fresh off a dominating win, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 5 p.m. (CST), Saturday, when it meets Arizona inside the McKale Center. The Cougars (12-4, 3-1 C-USA) face the Wildcats for the fourth straight season in their final regular-season non-conference game. UH enters Saturday's game on the heels of an impressive 85-67 win against Conference USA rival East Carolina on Wednesday inside Hofheinz Pavilion. That win, combined with losses by C-USA rivals Tulsa, UTEP and Southern Miss, pushed the Cougars into sole possession of second place in the league, trailing only No. 22 Memphis. This season, junior guard Kelvin Lewis leads the Cougars with 19.8 points per game to rank among the C-USA top-five individual leaders, while junior guard Aubrey Coleman stands among the C-USA top-seven individual leaders with 18.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, making him the only player in the league to stand that high in both categories. Senior center Marcus Cousin leads the Cougars and ranks among the C-USA top-three leaders with 9.2 rebounds per game, while freshman point guard Desmond Wade has dished out a team-high 69 assists with only 26 turnovers through the first 16 games of his collegiate career. The Cougars claimed their 12th victory through their first 16 games, tying for the 13th fastest rate to reach that many wins. Of the 17 teams in UH history that won 12 of their first 16 games, 16 competed in the postseason with 13 earning NCAA Tournament berths.

Cougar Men's Basketball games can be heard live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off.

In addition, Saturday's game will be televised live on Fox Sports Arizona (DirecTV channel 686/Dish Network channel 415) with Dave Sitton calling the play-by-play, Bob Elliott providing analysis and Sean Mooney as the sideline reporter.

Fans can follow the play-by-play action by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Cougars will meet Arizona on the basketball court. Through 10 games, the series is tied at 5-5 with the Wildcats bringing a two-game winning streak against UH into Saturday's game.

In addition, Arizona has won four of the last five games against the Cougars.

The series began on Dec. 22, 1967, but has been played once every year since the 2005-06 campaign.

A year ago, the Wildcats enjoyed an 85-71 win in Houston behind Jerryd Bayless' 33 points.

The Cougars are 1-3 (.250) against the Wildcats in Tucson during the series history and will be looking to snap a three-game road losing streak against Arizona. UH has not won in Tucson since an 81-76 decision on Dec. 22, 1967, in the first game of the series.

Arizona comes into this weekend's game following a 53-47 loss to Pac-10- and state-rival Arizona State on Wednesday in the McKale Center. Saturday's game will be the second game in a season-long four-game homestand for the Wildcats, who have posted an 8-2 (.800) record in home games this season.

Against the Sun Devils, junior forward Jordan Hill posted 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds to lead the Wildcats in both categories. Forward Chase Budinger added 14 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

This season, Hill leads the Wildcats with 17.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Budinger is a close second on the scoring list with 17.1 points per contest.

Russ Pennell is in his first season as the head coach at Arizona, posting an 11-8 career record. Saturday's game will be his first meeting against Houston.

Following the Arizona game, the Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Conference USA rival UTEP, at 7 p.m., Wednesday. The Cougars enjoyed a 94-86 win over the Miners on Jan. 14, the program's first win in El Paso.

Fans can purchase their tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS or by stopping by the Athletics Ticket Office in the Athletics/Alumni Center during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Fans always can purchase tickets by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking on the Tickets links.



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