Men's Hoops Back in Action Saturday Evening at East Carolina

Jan. 27, 2011

 Time  6 p.m. (CST)/5 p.m. (EST) • Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011
 Location  Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (8,000) •
 Greenville, N.C.
 Series History  Houston leads 8-2
 Houston won last three games
 Last Time  Houston won 93-80, C-USA Championship First Round,
 BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla., March 10, 2010
 Radio  Live Streaming
 Houston Sports Network • SportsTalk 790 AM • KBME
 Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
 Broadcast begins at 5:45 p.m. (EST)/4:45 p.m. (CST)
 Television  No Live Streaming
 CSS (Houston Comcast ch. 129)
 Patrick Kinas, PxP; Brian Oliver, analyst
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 East Carolina Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   Facebook Twitter

SIDs pay tribute this weekend to Oklahoma State men's hoops SID Will Hancock 10 years after the tragedy

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action this weekend when it meets Conference USA rival East Carolina at 5 p.m. (CST)/6 p.m. (EST), Saturday, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The Cougars (11-8, 3-3 C-USA) enter this weekend's contest on the heels of a tough 79-71 loss in overtime at Rice on Wednesday. It was Houston's fourth overtime game this season, tying the school single-season mark and last accomplished in 2003-04.

Against the Owls, senior guard Zamal Nixon connected on 6-of-7 shots from the field, including all three 3-point attempts to lead the Cougars with 15 points. Senior guard Adam Brown added 14 points with a pair of treys, while junior guard Darian Thibodeaux added 12 points, courtesy of four 3-pointers.

It was the second time this season the Cougars buried double-digit 3-pointers, trailing only the 11 treys at SMU on Jan. 15.

This season, Brown continues to lead the Cougars with 14.9 points per game, while senior forward Maurice McNeil ranks second with 12.2 points per game but tops Houston with 7.9 boards per contest. Nixon leads the team and ranks among the C-USA individual leaders in free throw percentage, steals and assists.

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 4:45 p.m. (CST)/5:45 p.m. (EST)

The game also will be televised on CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129) with Patrick Kinas calling the play-by-play action and Brian Oliver serving as analyst.

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

As members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, head coach James Dickey and his coaching staff will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during Saturday's game as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend.

This is a collaborative effort of the American Cancer Society and the NABC. By wearing sneakers during this weekend's games, participating NABC coaches will demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world without cancer.

College and high school basketball coaches nationwide will spotlight the fact that, while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease.

For those who do not smoke, weight control, exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to improve health and reduce cancer risk.

East Carolina brings a 11-9 overall record, 3-3 Conference USA mark, into this weekend's game. The Pirates are coming off an 84-77 loss to Southern Miss on Wednesday in Greenville, N.C., snapping their two-game winning streak.

Against the Golden Eagles, forward Darius Morrow led five Pirates in double digits with 18 points. Guard Jontae Sherrod added 16 points, while guard Brock Young finished with 13 points and a game-high five assists. Guard Corvonn Gaines posted 12 points and forward Jamar Abrams recorded 10 points and a team-high four rebounds in the loss.

This season, Sherrod leads the Pirates with 14.9 points per game. Morrow stands second with 12.3 points per game but leads ECU with 5.3 boards per contest. Abrams stands third with 9.6 points per game. Young ranks fourth with 9.8 rebounds and leads the team with 4.4 assists per game.

Head coach Jeff Lebo is in his first season at East Carolina. He has posted an 11-9 (.550) record with the Pirates and is 222-165 (.574) in more than 12 years as a head coach. Lebo previously served as head coach at Tennessee Tech (1998-02), Chattanooga (2002-04) and Auburn (2004-10).

This marks the eighth straight season and the ninth time in the last nine years that these two teams have met in basketball. East Carolina joined Conference USA for the 2001-02 season, but the two teams did not meet during the 2002-03 campaign.

Houston has won the last three games and eight of the last nine. The Cougars' wins in the current streak have not been close with Houston winning by an average of 16.7 points per game.

The Cougars have not lost to East Carolina since an 84-83 setback on March 1, 2008, in Greenville, N.C.

Houston is 3-2 (.600) against the Pirates in Greenville, N.C. The Cougars claimed the most recent win in Greenville with a 74-55 win on Jan. 16, 2010.

The Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Marshall at 8 p.m., Tuesday. That game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

From there, the team hits the road again to face Tulsa for the second time this season at 7:05 p.m., Feb. 5 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier this season, the Cougars enjoyed a 64-57 win against the Golden Hurricane in Hofheinz Pavilion.

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 UAB (Feb. 26) game 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.



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