Men's Basketball Ready to Face SMU on Saturday
Feb. 23, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team begins the homestretch of its regular-season home schedule when it plays host to Conference USA rival SMU at 7 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars enter this weekend's game on the heels of a tough 66-58 loss to Marshall in Huntington, W.Va., on Wednesday night. In that game, junior forward Leon Gibson and freshman forward TaShawn Thomas each posted double-doubles to lead the Cougars in the losing effort.
Gibson posted career highs with 17 points and 11 rebounds with his scoring total leading all scorers. It was the first double-double in the Los Angeles native's career.
With 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, Thomas posted his team-leading eighth double-double during his first collegiate season. His total leads all Conference USA freshmen and ranks seventh overall in the league.
This season, junior guard Jonathon Simmons leads the Cougars with 14.8 points per game, while sophomore forward Alandise Harris ranks second on the team with 13.1 points and 6.2 rebounds contest. Redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young stands third on the team with 10.9 points per game and ranks among the C-USA top-10 leaders in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game.
Thomas stands fourth on the team with 10.6 points per game but leads the Cougars with 8.2 rebounds per contest. The Killeen, Texas, native also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage and blocks per game.
ON THE AIR
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 6:45 p.m., Saturday.
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.
SMU owns a 12-16 overall record and is tied for 10th with East Carolina and Tulane in Conference USA with a 3-10 mark. SMU is 3-7 on the road this season and 4-10 away from Dallas.
In its most recent action, SMU enjoyed a 64-50 win against Tulane in Dallas. Against the Green Wave, guard London Giles led the Mustangs with 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Leslee Smith came off the bench to grab a game-high 11 rebounds, while Jeremiah Samarrippas dished out a game-high seven assists.
This season, Robert Nyakundi leads the Mustangs with 14.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game and has drained 68 of his 162 3-point attempts. Giles ranks second with 10.9 points per game, while Samarrippas is tops with 4.1 assists per contest.
Head coach Matt Doherty, a 1984 graduate of North Carolina, is in his 11th year overall and his sixth season at SMU. He has compiled a 169-177 overall record and a 79-106 record with the Mustangs.
Doherty previously served as head coach at Notre Dame (1999-00), North Carolina (2000-03) and Florida Atlantic (2006-07)
SERIES HISTORY vs. SMU
Houston has posted a 43-25 record against SMU in the all-time series, which began March 16, 1956, during an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region First Round matchup in Lawrence, Kan. (Houston lost 89-74).
Series has been played at least once every season since the 2005-06 campaign, when SMU joined Conference USA. SMU has won the last two and three of the last four games.
In the most recent encounter, SMU enjoyed a 70-54 win on Jan. 18 in Dallas.
Cougars have posted a 21-7 all-time home record in Hofheinz Pavilion against the Mustangs. SMU enjoyed a 65-51 win on Feb. 16, 2011, in the most recent game in Houston. That win snapped the Cougars' five-game home winning streak against the Mustangs.
The Cougars close out their home schedule when they meet Tulane at 7 p.m., Wednesday, in Hofheinz Pavilion. That game will feature Senior Night pregame activities for guard Darian Thibodeaux and his family.
Wednesday's game also will be the second regular-season meeting between the teams. Tulane claimed a 75-54 win in New Orleans on Feb. 4
From there, Cougars close out the regular season when they face Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. That game also will be the second regular-season meeting between the Cougars and the Owls. Rice enjoyed a 79-71 win in Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 8.