Men's Basketball Back in Action on Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion

    Senior forward Maurice McNeil
    Senior forward Maurice McNeil
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    Feb. 14, 2011

    SMU MUSTANGS (15-9 • 6-4 C-USA)
    at HOUSTON COUGARS (12-11 • 4-6 C-USA)
     Time  7 p.m. • Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
     Location  Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston
     Tickets  Ticket Information
     Series History  Houston leads 43-23
     Last Time  Houston won 70-68 • Jan. 15, 2011
     Moody Coliseum • Dallas, Texas
     Radio  Live Streaming
     Houston Sports Network • Sports Talk 790 AM • KBME
     Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
     Broadcast begins at 6:45 p.m.
     Video  Live Streaming
     Live Stats  GameTracker
     Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
     SMU Notes Get Acrobat Reader
     Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
     Social Media   FacebookTwitter

    HOUSTON - Fresh off an impressive win in front of its largest home crowd, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday, when it plays host to Conference USA rival SMU inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

    The Cougars (12-11 • 4-6 C-USA) enter Wednesday's game on the heels of a dominating 79-68 win against league-foe Tulane on Saturday. Although Tulane jumped out to an 8-0 lead through the first two-and-a-half minutes, the Cougars used a 15-3 run during the next five minutes to build a lead they would never relinquish.

    With that victory, Houston won its 10th game at Hofheinz Pavilion this season in front of 5,144 fans, topping the previous season high of 4,513 against UTEP on Jan. 22. It also marked the seventh straight season that the Cougars earned double-digit wins in front of the hometown fans.

    The program had not accomplished that feat since Hofheinz Pavilion opened with nine straight 10-win seasons from 1969 to 1978.

    Against Tulane, senior forward Maurice McNeil led the Cougars with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his team-leading eighth double-double of the season. The New York native connected on 7-of-13 shots from the field and added an assist and steal in 32 minutes.

    Senior guard Zamal Nixon led the Cougars with 17 points against the Green Wave, thanks to an 11-of-11 performance from the free throw line. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native has nailed his last 13 free throw attempts and currently leads the Cougars and the league with a 92.3 free throw percentage.

    This season, senior guard Adam Brown continues to lead the Cougars with 13.9 points per game and ranks among the C-USA individual leaders in scoring, field-goal percentage, 3-point field goals made per game, free throw percentage and minutes played.

    McNeil ranks second among the Cougars with 13.1 points per game but tops the team with 8.1 rebounds per contest to stand sixth in the league.


    TICKET INFORMATION
    Three regular-season home games remain on the schedule, and fans can purchase their tickets now.

    Fans also can buy 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.


    RADIO/TELEVISION
    Wednesday'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 6:45 p.m.


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


    ABOUT SMU
    SMU owns a 15-9 overall record, 6-4 in Conference USA games. The Mustangs currently are in a tie with Tulsa for fifth place.

    In its most recent action, SMU dropped a 67-57 decision at UTEP on Saturday. That loss snapped a season-best five-game winning streak for the Mustangs.

    Against UTEP, forward Papa Dia led SMU with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting and added a game-high 10 rebounds. Guard Collin Mangrum and guard Jeremiah Samarripas posted 10 points apiece to lead the Mustangs.

    This season, Dia leads SMU with 18.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Forward Robert Nyakundi ranks second on the team with 15.5 points per game and is the only other Mustang to average double-digit points. Samarrippas tops the team with 3.6 assists per game.

    Head coach Matt Doherty is in his fifth year at SMU and 10th season overall. He has compiled a 62-84 (.425) record with the Mustangs and is 152-155 (.495) overall. Doherty is 1-10 (.091) against Houston with all those games coming at SMU.

    He previously served as the head coach at Notre Dame (1999-00), North Carolina (2000-03) and Florida Atlantic (2005-06).


    SERIES HISTORY vs. SMU
    This marks the sixth straight season the two teams will meet on the hardwood. The Cougars own a 43-23 (.652) lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1955-56 season but has been played at least once every year since the 2005-06 campaign.

    Houston has won 10 of the last 11 games against SMU, including a 70-68 win in Dallas on Jan. 15 in the most recent meeting.

    Only a 94-83 SMU win in Dallas on Feb. 27, 2010, prevents a much longer Houston winning streak. SMU's win a year ago was the first since a 94-69 setback in Dallas on Dec. 17, 2000.

    The Cougars have posted a 21-6 (.778) all-time record against SMU in Houston. Houston has won its last five home meetings against SMU. The Cougars have not lost to SMU at Hofheinz Pavilion since a 94-80 setback on Nov. 27, 1999.


    UP NEXT
    The Cougars return to action at 8:05 p.m. (CST), Saturday, when they meet UTEP at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The Miners, who are receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, escaped with a 57-52 win against the Cougars in Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 22.

    From there, the team meets Memphis at 8 p.m., Feb. 22, at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. That game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

     

     

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