Men's Basketball Back in Action vs. Southern Miss on Saturday

Freshman point guard J.J. Thompson

Feb. 16, 2012

at HOUSTON COUGARS (11-13 • 3-8 C-USA)
 Tickets  Ticket Information
 Time  8 p.m. • Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012
 Location  Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas
 Radio  Live Streaming
 SportsTalk 790 • Houston IMG Sports Network
 Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
 Broadcast begins at 7:45 p.m.
 Television  Live Streaming
 Houston Comcast channel 129
 Craig Ackerman, PxP; Matt Bullard, analyst
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Series History  Houston leads 16-15
 USM won three of last four
 Last Meeting  USM won 85-73 • Jan. 5, 2011
 Reed-Green Coliseum • Hattiesburg, Miss.
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Southern Miss Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   FacebookTwitter

HOUSTON - Fresh off a week-long break from its schedule, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 8 p.m., Saturday, when it faces Conference USA league-leader Southern Miss inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars enter this weekend's contest after falling at Tulsa on Feb. 11. Against the Golden Hurricane, redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young and junior guard Jonathon Simmons tied for team-high honors with 13 points apiece. Sophomore forward Alandise Harris added 10 points with Simmons topping the team with five rebounds.

With Young, forward TaShawn Thomas and point guard J.J. Thompson starting at Tulsa, the Cougars used three freshmen in their starting lineup for the second time this season (vs. Memphis, Jan. 14) but only the third time in school history since freshmen became eligible in 1972-73.

On Jan. 14, 2006, guard Corey Bloom, forward Lamar Roberson and center Emanuel Adeife started in a 66-56 home loss to UCF in the first Cougar starting lineup that featured three freshmen.

This season, Simmons leads Houston and ranks ninth in C-USA with 14.8 points game and is one of four Cougars averaging double digits. Harris ranks second on the squad with 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest. Thomas stands third with 10.6 points but leads the Cougars and ranks seventh in the league with 7.8 rebounds per contest.

Young ranks third on the team with 10.7 points per game and has established himself as one of the premier 3-point shooters in the league during his first collegiate season. The Houston native and Yates High product ranks among the C-USA top-10 individual leaders in 3-point percentage and 3-point field goals made per game.

Fans can hear the game live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 7:45 p.m., Saturday.

Fans also can watch the game live on CSS (Houston Comcast channel 129) with Craig Ackerman calling the play-by-play action and Matt Bullard providing analysis. Fans should check their local listings for broadcasts in their areas.

Fans can hear the audio stream live at UHCougars.com by clicking the All-Access tab and following the appropriate links to sign up for Cougar All-Access or by clicking here. A charge is required to hear games via Cougar All-Access.

Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link or by clicking here.

Single-game tickets are now on sale at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can purchase their tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links or by clicking the Tickets link here.
Southern Miss owns a 22-4 overall record and is tied for first place with Memphis with a 9-2 mark in C-USA games. The Golden Eagles are 7-3 on the road and 9-4 away from home this season.

In its most recent action, Southern Miss took a 77-69 win in overtime against Tulsa in Hattiesburg; Miss. Against the Golden Hurricane, forward Jonathan Mills led all players with 25 points, thanks to 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 13-of-13 from the free throw line. He also added 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Guard Neil Watson added 18 points, while Maurice Bolden added 11 points with three 3-pointers. Torye Pelham came off the bench to grab a game-high 11 rebounds.

This season, LaShawn Page leads four Golden Eagles in double digits with 12.5 points per game. Darnell Dodson adds 11.8 points per contest, while Watson is a close third at 11.6 points per game. Bolden stands fourth on the team with 10.5 points per game and is tied with Mills for the team lead with 5.6 rebounds per game.

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his 22nd year overall and his eighth season at Southern Miss... He has compiled a 399-253 overall record and a 140-107 record with the Golden Eagles.

Eustachy, who is a 1979 graduate of Long Beach State, previously served as head coach at Idaho (1990-93), Utah State (1993-98) and Iowa State (1998-03).

Saturday's game will be the lone regular-season meeting between these two teams. The Cougars own a 16-15 lead in the all-time series, which began Nov. 3, 1968. However, Southern Miss has won three of the last four games, including an 85-73 decision on Jan. 5, 2011, in Hattiesburg, Miss.

This will be the 16th consecutive season these two teams have met on the hardwood. The teams have played at least once every season since the 1996-97 campaign when Houston joined Conference USA.

The Cougars' last win against USM was a 74-66 decision on March 12, 2010, during the Conference USA Championship semifinals at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. That win pushed the Cougars into the title game against No. 25/21 UTEP, which UH won to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars have posted a 10-5 record at home against Southern Miss and a 9-5 record in Hofheinz Pavilion. The first meeting in Houston was played in Delmar Field House on Nov. 30, 1968.

Southern Miss won the most recent meeting in Houston with a 57-55 victory on Feb. 6, 2010. USM forward Torye Pelham tipped in his own miss as time expired to break the tie for good.

The Cougars hit the road again to face Marshall at 6 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, in Huntington, W.Va. That will be the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

From there, the team closes out its home schedule with a pair contests against SMU (Feb. 25) and Tulane (Feb. 29). Both games are slated for 7 p.m., starts.

The Tulane game will feature Senior Night activities for guard Darian Thibodeaux and his family.



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