Houston Men's Basketball Back on the Road at Marshall
Feb. 20, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Fresh off knocking off the Conference USA co-leader, the University of Houston men's basketball team looks to ride a wave of momentum into Wednesday's 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. (EST) showdown against Marshall inside the Cam Henderson Center.
The Cougars enjoyed a 73-71 win against the Golden Eagles on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion. After jumping out to a big halftime lead, Houston thwarted multiple USM second-half rallies and nailed 10-of-11 free throw attempts in the final 67 seconds to seal the win.
Southern Miss entered last weekend's game at No. 10 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings.
For the second straight game, the third time this season but only the fourth time in school history, the Cougars started three freshmen in the same game against Southern Miss in point guard J.J. Thompson, redshirt guard Joseph Young and freshman forward TaShawn Thomas.
Against the Golden Eagles, junior guard Jonathon Simmons poured in a career-high 28 points with eight rebounds for his team-leading seventh 20-point game of the season. With that solid performance, the Houston native and Smiley High product moved into seventh in C-USA with 15.3 points per game.
Thomas totaled 11 points with a team-high 11 rebounds for his team-leading seventh double-double of the season. The Killeen, Texas, native leads all C-USA freshmen with his total in that category. He also provided a key block and defensive rebound as USM's Neil Watson tried to hit a layup from the baseline with just 30 seconds left in the game and the Cougars holding a 3-point lead.
Sophomore forward Alandise Harris scored11 points with seven rebounds in the win against Southern Miss and ranks second on the team with 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
ON THE AIR
Fans can hear Wednesday's game live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 5:45 p.m. (CST)/6:45 p.m. (EST) Wednesday.
Fans can see and hear the audio and video streams live at UHCougars.com by clicking the All-Access tab and following the appropriate links to sign up for Cougar All-Access. A charge is required to hear games via Cougar All-Access.
Marshall owns a 16-10 overall record and ranks fifth with a 7-5 mark in C-USA games. The Herd is 11-3 at the Cam Henderson Center this season.
In its most recent action, Marshall claimed a 73-68 win at SMU on Saturday. Against the Mustangs, guard Damier Pitts led all players with 20 points, including five 3-pointers, with five rebounds and five assists while guard DeAndre Kane added 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds. Center Nigel Spikes came off the bench to post 13 points, while forward Dennis Tinnon posted 12 points.
This season, Kane leads the Herd with 15.8 points per game. Pitts ranks second on the team with 14.3 points per contest and tops the team with 4.6 assists per game. Dennis Tinnon stands third on the team but averages a team-high 9.8 rebounds per game.
Head coach Tom Herrion, a 1989 graduate of Merrimack, is in his sixth year overall and his second season at Marshall. He has compiled a 118-60 overall record and a 38-22 record with the Thundering Herd.
Herrion previously served as head coach at the College of Charleston from 2002 to 2006.
SERIES HISTORY vs. MARSHALL
Wednesday's game will be the lone regular-season meeting between these two teams. The Cougars own a 5-3 lead in the all-time series, which began Feb. 1, 1968.
This will be the seventh consecutive season these two teams have met on the hardwood. The teams have played at least once every season since the 2005-06 campaign when Marshall joined Conference USA.
Marshall has won the last two games, including a 97-87 decision on March 9, 2011, during the first round of the Conference USA Championship in El Paso, Texas. The Cougars' last win was an 81-66 victory on Jan. 30, 2010, in Hofheinz Pavilion.
The all-time series is tied at 1-1 in Huntington, W.Va. The Thundering Herd enjoyed an 88-83 win in the most recent in the Cam Henderson Center on Feb. 18, 2009.
The Cougars close out their home schedule with a pair contests against SMU on Saturday and against Tulane on 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.
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.