Men's Hoops Meets UCF at 1 p.m., Saturday
Feb. 20, 2014
HOUSTON - For the first time in school history, the University of Houston Men's Basketball team will meet UCF as members of the American Athletic Conference. Houston faces the Knights at 1 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion in a game presented by Harris County Federal Credit Union.
Although the Cougars have already completed their regular-season series against UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and SMU, Saturday's game will be the first of two meetings against the Knights this season. The Cougars travel to Orlando on March 7 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Saturday's game will be the first game of a doubleheader with the Houston Women's team, which meets No. 1/1 UConn at 4 p.m., inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It also will be part of a busy day around the Houston Athletics Complex, which will see Softball competing in the second day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational and Baseball meeting Michigan at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, in the second game of a non-conference series.
Fans who purchase a ticket to either of Saturday's Men's or Women's Basketball games and show their ticket stubs at the front gate of Cougar Field will receive free admission to Saturday's Baseball game.
The Cougars (12-14 4-9) continue to battle for the No. 6 seed in the American Athletic Conference race. The top six teams in the regular-season standings receive a first-round bye at the American Athletic Conference Championship, scheduled for March 12-15 in Memphis' FedExForum.
Houston is currently tied with Rutgers for the No. 6 seed, 1.5 games ahead of USF, two games in front of Temple and 2.5 games ahead of UCF. The Cougars play UCF (Saturday) No. 22/24 Memphis (Feb. 27), at Temple (March 1), USF (March 4) and at UCF (March 7) during their final five regular-season games.
The Cougars enter this weekend's contest on the heels of a tough 68-64 loss at SMU in Dallas on Wednesday night. Against the Mustangs, sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers poured in a game-high 16 points with four 3-pointers , while junior forward TaShawn Thomas and sophomore guard Danuel House added 15 points apiece.
This season, Thomas leads the Cougars and ranks among The American leaders with 15.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He is the only player to rank among the league's top-7 leaders in both scoring and rebounding.
With six points AND nine rebounds against the Knights, Thomas will become only the seventh player in school history to score 1,300+ points and grab 800+ rebounds during his career. He would join Houston greats Elvin Hayes, Michael Young, Dwight Davis, Greg Anderson, Rickie Winslow, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon in that exclusive group.
House ranks second on the team with 12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while Stiggers stands third with 10.1 points per contest. Sophomore point guard L.J. Rose - competing in his first season with the Cougars - leads the Cougars and ranks second in the league with 5.1 assists per game.
Houston Men's Basketball single-game tickets are on sale NOW. Fans can purchase single-game by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email email@example.com. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.
H-ASSOCIATION B-B-Q DINNER
Between the Houston Men's and Women's Basketball games, fans are invited to the H-Association B-B-Q Dinner inside the Yeoman Fieldhouse in the Athletics Alumni Center. Tickets are only $15 or four tickets for $50.
Proceeds will go to the "H" Association to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride.
For tickets or more information, contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH (4684) email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE AIR
Saturday's game can be seen live on ESPNews with Mike Patrick calling the play-by-play action and Len Elmore providing analysis or by clicking here. Due to the television broadcast, video stream will NOT be available through Cougar All-Access.
Fans can hear Saturday's game live on 950 AM KPRC or by clicking here with Matt Thomas calling play-by-play and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show will start at 12:45 p.m., Saturday.
Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com or by clicking here.
UCF enters Saturday's game with a 10-14 overall record and 2-11 mark in The American. The Knights are tied with Temple for ninth in the latest league standings.
In its most recent outing, UCF dropped a 77-59 decision to league leader Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Cincinnati raced out to a 40-18 lead at halftime and never looked back.
Against the Bearcats, guard Isaiah Sykes posted 13 points with a game-high 10 rebounds to lead UCF. Guard Calvin Newell added three assists and a pair of steals for the Knights.
This season, Sykes lead the Knights with 16.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Tristan Spurlock ranks second with 10.8 points per game, while Newell is a close third with 10.2 points per contest.
Head coach Donnie Jones is in his fourth year at UCF and his seventh season overall as a collegiate head coach. He has posted a 55-59 record at UCF and assembled a 107-89 overall career mark.
Jones previously served as head coach at Marshall (2007-10). He has posted a 3-3 record against Houston during his career, including a 2-1 mark against the Cougars during his Houston tenure.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars continue their homestand when they meet No. 22/24 Memphis at 8 p.m., Thursday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team opens the month of March when it faces Temple for the second time this season at 8 p.m. (CST), March 1, inside the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.