Men's Hoops Travels to Face UTEP on Wednesday

Feb. 2, 2010

HOUSTON COUGARS (11-9 • 4-3 C-USA) at UTEP MINERS (15-5 • 6-1 C-USA)
Feb. 3, 2010 • Don Haskins Center (12,000) • El Paso, Texas • 9 p.m. (CST)/8 p.m (MST)

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • SportsTalk 790 AM-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
Pregame show begins at 8:45 p.m.
INTERNET AUDIO : live audio broadcast
TELEVISION: CBS College Sports (DirecTV channel 613/Dish Network channel 152) • Jason Knapp, PxP, Pete Gillen, analyst
LIVE STATS: GameTracker

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EL PASO, Texas - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 9 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, when it travels to face Conference USA-rival UTEP inside the Don Haskins Center.

This will be the second time that the Cougars have faced the Miners during the 2009-10 regular season. The Cougars claimed a 75-65 win on Jan. 13 inside Hofheinz Pavilion, the biggest win by either team in the previous 10 contests.

The Cougars (11-9 * 4-3 C-USA) enter this week's game on the heels of an impressive 81-66 win against C-USA rival Marshall. In that games, senior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with a season-high 37 points and 13 rebounds for the 19th double-double of his career.

Coleman, who reigns as the national leader in scoring and steals, boosted his season scoring total to 26.2 points per game and joined Houston legends Elvin Hayes and Otis Birdsong as the only players in school history to score at least 30 points in three straight games.

Senior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second among the Cougars and seventh in the league with 16.1 points per game, while junior forward Maurice McNeil is tops with 7.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore point guard Desmond Wade leads the Cougars and ranks second in the league with 5.3 assists per game and became only the third player in school history to record back-to-back 100-assist seasons during his first two years.

Fans can hear Wednesday'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 8:45 p.m. (CST).

Fans also can watch the game live on CBS College Sports (DirecTV channel 613/Dish Network channel 152) with Jason Knapp calling the play-by-play action and Pete Gillen providing analysis.

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

UTEP enters Wednesday's game on the heels of a 74-65 double-overtime win at Conference USA-leader UAB on Saturday. With that win, the Miners won their fifth straight game and improved to15-5 overall and 6-1 in league games. Ironically, the last team to defeat the Miners was the Cougars with a 75-65 decision at Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 13.

Against UAB, forward Derrick Caracter came off the bench to lead UTEP with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 13 rebounds. Forward Jeremy Williams added 16 points and nine boards, while guard Randy Culpepper posted 14 points.

This season, Culpepper leads the team and ranks third in the league with 17.1 points per game. The Memphis, Tenn., native is one of five Miners averaging double-digit points. Caracter stands second on the team with 13.7 points but leads the Miners with 8.6 rebounds per contest. Christian Polk averages 11.6 points to stand third, while forward Arnett Moultrie is a close fourth with 11.5 rebounds per game. Jeremy Williams averages 10.9 points per game, while guard Julyan Stone tops the Miners with 5.3 rebounds per game.

Tony Barbee is now in his fourth season at UTEP, compiling a 71-50 (.587) record during that time. Before taking over at UTEP, Barbee served as an assistant coach at Memphis from 2000 to 2006.

Barbee is 4-5 (.444) against the Cougars during his career.

For the fifth straight season, the Cougars will meet UTEP on the hardwood. The Miners own a 9-7 (.563) lead in the all-time series, which began Dec 28, 1979, but 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 two years, playing on each other's home court and at the Conference USA Tournament.

Houston brings a two-game winning streak against the Miners into Saturday's game folllowing its 75-65 win on Jan. 13 in Hofheinz Pavilion. It was the Cougars' third win against the Miners in the last four outings.

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

UTEP has posted a 7-1 (.875) all-time record against the Cougars on its home court. However, the Cougars can boast of the most recent success after taking a 94-86 win in El Paso on Jan. 14, 2009. That was Houston's first win against the Miners in El Paso in series history. However, of the seven losses, five have been by eight or fewer points.

The Cougars return home to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to league-rival Southern Miss at 5 p.m., Saturday.

From there the team wraps up its non-conference regular-season schedule when it meets Western Kentucky at 7 p.m., Feb. 9, in E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.

Both games can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show for both games is slated to begin 15 minutes before tipoff.

In addition, Saturday's game against Southern Miss can be seen live on CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129).

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 (9600 Westheimer, No. 80, Houston, 77063) on Feb. 11.



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