Men's Basketball Ready to Face Crosstown Rival Rice on Saturday

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    Junior guard Aubrey Coleman
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    Feb. 6, 2009

    GAME 21
    RICE OWLS (7-14 • 2-5 C-USA) at HOUSTON COUGARS (13-7 • 4-3 C-USA)
    Feb. 7, 2009 • Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas • 8 p.m.

    Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP; Willis Wilson, analyst
    TELEVISION: none
    INTERNET VIDEO : live broadcast at
    LIVE STATS: GameTracker at
    Houston Notes vs. Rice (Feb. 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
    Rice Notes vs. Houston (Feb. 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
    Conference USA Notebook (Feb. 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 8 p.m., Saturday, when it plays host to Conference USA- and crosstown-rival Rice inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

    Saturday's game will be part of a doubleheader with the Cougar Women's Basketball team, which also faces the Owls at 5 p.m. Fans will be able to watch both games for the price of one ticket.

    The Cougars (13-7 • 4-3 C-USA) enter the game on the heels of a dominating 97-69 win at Conference USA-rival UCF on Wednesday. In that game, junior guard Aubrey Coleman led all players with 30 points, his second straight 30-point game. The Houston native became only the 10th player in UH history to enjoy back-to-back 30-point games and was the first since the 1991-92 season.

    With his recent performance, Coleman moved into the team lead with 19.6 points per game and ranks second on the squad with 8.0 rebounds per contest. He ranks third in the league in scoring and fourth in rebounding, making him the only player to rank that highly in both categories.

    Junior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second on the team and fourth in the league with 19.5 points per game and is one of the league's premier 3-pointer shooters, hitting 3.2 treys per game.

    Senior center Marcus Cousin tops the Cougars and ranks second in the league with 9.0 rebounds per game, while freshman point Desmond Wade has dished out 4.4 assists per game with a combined 27 turnovers during his first collegiate season.

    Saturday's game will be the first of two regular-season meetings against the Owls. The Cougars travel to Tudor Fieldhouse to meet Rice at 3 p.m., Feb. 28.

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

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

    For the 13th straight season and the 37th in the last 38 years, the Cougars will meet crosstown-rival Rice on the hardwood. In addition, the Cougars bring a four-game winning streak against the Owls into Saturday's game.

    The Cougars own a 53-14 (.791) lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1971-72 season and has been played at least once every year since the 1997-98 campaign.

    With the exception of the 1996-97 season, the Cougars have played the Owls at least once a year since the 1971-72 season.

    With 67 previous meetings, the series against the Owls is the third largest in UH history. Only Texas A&M (83) and TCU (69) have played more games against the Cougars.

    The Cougars have posted a 27-5 (.844) all-time record at home against Rice. UH has won its last two home games and won six of its last seven home games against the Owls. Only a 62-52 setback on Dec. 3, 2003, prevents a much longer home winning streak.

    After a week off, Rice comes into this weekend's game following a 76-70 win against Conference USA-rival East Carolina on Jan. 31. That win against the Pirates snapped a four-game losing streak and was only the Owls' third victory in their last 10 games.

    Senior guard Rodney Foster leads the Owls with 10.3 points per game, while freshman forward Lucas Kuipers tops the team with 3.8 rebounds per contest.

    Working his first season on the Rice bench, head coach Ben Braun has compiled a 559-403 record (.581) in more than 31 seasons. He is 2-1 against the Cougars.

    • Between the men's and women's games, student-athletes from the Cougar Swimming and Diving program will be on the concourse at the Holman Street entrance signing autographs for fans.

    • During the men's game, the 2008 Cougar Baseball team will be recognized as they continue preparations for the upcoming season.

    • Following the game, student-athletes from the Cougar Baseball program will be handing out season-ticket information at the exits of Hofheinz Pavilion.

    The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday, when they meet Conference USA-rival SMU in Dallas. That game can be heard live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or on the Internet at with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action.

    The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off.

    Fans also can follow the play-by-play action by clicking the GameTracker link at

    Following the SMU game, the Cougars return to Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to league-rival Tulane at 7 p.m., Feb. 14 inside Hofheinz Pavilion. That game will be part of a doubleheader with the women's team, which plays host to UTEP at noon, Feb. 14.

    Free admission is available to approved groups of 10 or more people for the remaining Saturday home games (Feb. 14, vs. Tulane; Feb. 21, vs. UCF and March 7, vs. SMU). For more information, please call the Marketing Office at 713-743-9453.

    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 and clicking on the Tickets links.



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