Feb. 12, 2008
Houston - The University of Houston men's basketball team looks to win its fourth straight game and eighth game in the last nine outings when the Cougars travel to Memphis this Wednesday in a nationally-televised game on CSTV at 8:00 p.m.
The Cougars enter the game with an 18-4 overall record this season after winning their seventh Conference USA game 66-56 at Tulane last Saturday, a 92-81 victory over Tulsa Feb. 6 and an 84-81 victory at UCF on Feb. 2. Those three wins came after Houston suffered an 89-77 loss against top-ranked Memphis on Jan. 30. The Cougars began C-USA play with wins against SMU, UTEP, Rice and Marshall.
Memphis owns a 23-0 overall record and the Tigers are 9-0 in Conference USA play after beating UCF 85-64 last Saturday in the FedEx Forum.
Houston enters Wednesday night's game with a 10-19 record against Memphis in a series that began on Dec. 8, 1956. This marks the second time the two teams have played this season after the Tigers won 89-77 in Houston on Jan. 30.
Last season, the Tigers won both regular season games before defeating Houston 71-59 in the Conference USA Tournament's championship game. Memphis has won the last six meetings between the two schools since Houston won a 66-53 contest on Feb. 5, 2005.
HOUSTON VERSUS NO. 1 TEAMS
Wednesday night marks the 13th time that the Cougars have faced a No. 1 ranked team. Houston enters the game with a 2-10 record against top-ranked teams after suffering an 89-77 loss against the Tigers in Houston on Jan. 30. It was Houston's fourth straight loss against a top-ranked team. Those other losses came against North Carolina in the 1982 NCAA Final Four, Virginia in the 1983 Suntory Classic at Tokyo and Cincinnati on Feb. 17, 2000.
The last time Houston played host to a top-ranked team was on Feb. 17, 2000 when the Cougars suffered a 77-65 loss against Cincinnati. Houston's last win was on Feb. 18, 1978, when the Cougars upset Arkansas 84-75 in Hofheinz Pavilion. The only other win was Houston's 71-69 victory over UCLA on Jan. 20, 1968 at the Astrodome in the first nationally televised regular season game.
HOUSTON-MEMPHIS EARLIER THIS YEAR AT HOUSTON
Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 30 points and Joey Dorsey grabbed 22 rebounds, matching a career high, as top-ranked Memphis equaled the best start in school history with an 89-77 win over Houston on Jan. 30.
Robert Dozier 17 of his 21 points in the second half as the Tigers overcame a season-high 22 turnovers. Dion Dowell scored 23 points and Robert McKiver scored 20 for the Cougars. Memphis out-rebounded the Cougars 49-29 and scored 44 points in the paint.
The Tigers led 46-35 at the break and started the second half with a 10-4 spurt. Dowell hit three free throws and a 3-pointer over the next two minutes as Houston pulled within 13.
Memphis pushed the lead to 17, but the Cougars' scrambling, full-court pressure forced five turnovers in four minutes during a 12-3 burst that closed the gap to 66-58. Memphis' lead hovered between eight and 10 until Douglas-Roberts finished a fast break with a dunk for a 74-62 lead. Dozier added two baskets down low as the Tigers finally pulled away.
Dorsey swiped a rebound with one hand and threw down a dunk in the closing minutes, sealing the Tigers' 29th consecutive victory in Conference USA. Memphis held Houston to 35 percent shooting from the field (24-of-68) and the Cougars scored just six three-point field goals.
The Tigers struggled early with Houston's trapping defense and trailed 11-4 after giving away four turnovers in the first four minutes.
Memphis quickened the pace and charged ahead with a 13-0 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Willie Kemp. Kelvin Lewis sank two free throws to cut Houston's deficit to 24-20, but the Tigers stayed in control. Douglas-Roberts scored eight quick points and Kemp drove through the Cougars' defense for a lay-up to stretch the lead to 36-25. McKiver's long jumper with 7:46 left before halftime was Houston's only field goal for six minutes.
Following the Memphis game, Houston returns to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion for a Conference USA game against SMU on Feb. 16. The Cougars close out the 2007-08 regular season at UAB on Feb. 20, against Rice on Feb. 23 and Southern Miss on Feb. 27, at East Carolina on Mar. 1, against UCF on Mar. 5 and at UTEP on Mar. 8.