Men's Basketball Returns to Action at 5 p.m., Saturday, vs. Marshall

Jan. 29, 2010

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 • Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas • 5 p.m.

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • SportsTalk 790 AM-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
Pregame show begins at 4:45 p.m.
INTERNET AUDIO: live audio broadcast
TELEVISION: CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129) • Matt Stewart, PxP • Brian Oliver, analyst
LIVE STATS: GameTracker

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HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 5 p.m., Saturday, when it plays host to Conference USA-rival Marshall at Hofheinz Pavilion.

This will be the Cougars' first competitive action since a 92-77 loss at league-rival Memphis on Jan. 23. In that game, senior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with 32 points.

Coleman, who reigns as the national leader in both scoring (25.6) and steals (3.3), recorded the eighth 30-point game of his career against the Tigers and is one of only two players to rank among the C-USA top-10 individual leaders in both scoring and rebounding.

Senior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second on the team and sixth in the league with 16.4 points per game, giving the Cougars two of the top-six scoring leaders in C-USA. Houston is the only team that can boast of two scorers among the top 10.

Junior forward Maurice McNeil ranks fourth on the team with 8.2 points per game but is averaging a team-best 7.8 rebounds per contest to rank seventh in the league.

Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade leads the team and ranks second in C-USA with 5.5 assists per game and recently became only the third player in school history to post back-to-back seasons with at least 100 assists during his first two collegiate seasons.

Saturday's game will be part of a doubleheader with the Houston women's basketball team. The women's team plays host to C-USA rival SMU at 2 p.m., Saturday. Fans should note that the starting time for the women's game recently was pushed back.

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 4:45 p.m.

Fans also can watch the game live on CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129) with Matt Stewart calling the play-by-play action and Brian Oliver with analysis.

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

Marshall (15-5 • 4-2 C-USA) enters this weekend's game on the heels of a 75-72 loss to Memphis on Wednesday in Huntington, W.Va. It was the Thundering Herd's third straight setback after winning 13 of its previous 14 games .

In that game, freshman forward Hassan Whiteside led the Herd with 22 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Damier Pitts added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, with a game-high seven assists, while senior forward Tyler Wilkerson added 12 points. Sophomore guard Shaquille Johnson finished with 10 points and four assists in the loss.

This season, Whiteside leads Marshall with 13.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game Pitts is tops with 4.2 assists per contest.

Donnie Jones is in his third season at the helm of the Marshall bench, posting a 46-36 (.561) record during that time. Before joining the Thundering Herd, Jones served as an assistant coach at Marshall (1992-95) and at Florida (1996-07).

He is 1-1 against the Cougars as a collegiate head coach.

For the fifth consecutive season, the Cougars will meet Marshall on the hardwood. The Cougars own a 4-1 (.800) lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1967-68 season but has been played once every year since the 2005-06 campaign.

In the shortest series against a current Conference USA-member, the Cougars have enjoyed tremendous success against the Thundering Herd, winning by at least nine points and by an average of 12.8 points per game. However, the Thundering Herd can boast of the most recent success after an 88-83 win on Feb. 18, 2009, in Huntington, W.Va.

Saturday's game will be only the third all-time meeting in Houston. The Cougars own a 2-0 lead at Hofheinz Pavilion following a 71-58 win on Jan. 26, 2008.

Fans checking out the Houston coaching staff's sideline attire this weekend should not be surprised by what they see. The coaches did not experience complications in their closets when selecting their wardrobe for the weekend.

As members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, head coach Tom Penders 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 doing this, participating NABC coaches will demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world without cancer.

Cougar Basketball fans are encouraged to wear sneakers to the game to show their support.

By wearing sneakers with their suits, 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.

The Cougars hit 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), Wednesday. The Cougars claimed a 75-65 win on Jan. 13 in Hofheinz Pavilion, the biggest victory for either squad in the previous 10 contests.

From there, the team returns home to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to league-rival Southern Miss at 5 p.m., Feb. 6.

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, Feb. 4, from Bubba's Sports Bar and Grill (6225 Washington, Houston, 77007).

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.

Following the Feb. 4 show, fans can join the next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders at Ragin Cajun, located at 9600 Westheimer, No. 80, Houston, 77063.



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